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:
  • Links to past discussion of the source on this board.
  • 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: [].
  • Article. The Wikipedia article(s) in which the source is being used. For example: [[Article name]].
  • Content. The exact statement(s) in the article that the source supports. Please supply a diff, or put the content inside block quotes. For example: <blockquote>text</blockquote>. Many sources are reliable for statement "X," but unreliable for statement "Y".

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. If the discussion takes the form of a request for comment, a common format for writing the RfC question can be found here.

While we attempt to offer a second opinion, and the consensus of several editors can generally be relied upon, answers are not official policy.
Please focus your attention on the reliability of a source. This is not the place to discuss other issues, such as editor conduct. Please see dispute resolution for issues other than reliability.
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RfC: Sixth ToneEdit

I recently found the Sixth Tone, which is owned by a mainland Chinese media company. Although Chinese media is sources which should be with catious when it comes to political issues in China, should we include the Sixth Tone as a realiable source to discuss Chinese society and culture (especially when there is no other source to fully describe a non-controversial Chinese events such as introducing a Internet personality and Chinese government-accused controversy on Chinese Internet service, since state-run media and popular western media)? Relisted by ToThAc (talk) 17:37, 4 January 2020 (UTC), originally raised by Mariogoods (talk) 20:18, 6 December 2019 (UTC)

@ZiaLater: I agree with your opinion. It is hard to find sources which represent Chinese view while not engaging much in propaganda. And while we have The Paper, Sixth Tone uses English language. (I needed more Wikipedians to comment this)Mariogoods (talk) 23:15, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
Comment: Everything I've read (includiog articles I used as sources to write the Wikipedia article Sixth Tone as well as the Foreign Policy article) seems to support that Sixth Tone itself is accurate for non-controversial cultural matters. WhisperToMe (talk) 12:37, 16 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Definitely not reliable for political topics. No opinion about non-political topics. Anything that is based in mainland China should have the same reliability as the Chinese Government for political topics, which is zero. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Adoring nanny (talkcontribs)
In my opinion, the Sixth Tone should be used with caution to cite in political topics, especially Chinese political topics. But I don't think we should fully reject its report in political topics. Mariogoods (talk) 02:36, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: GrayzoneEdit

Was recently questioned about the reliability of Grayzone. Grayzone began as the Grayzone Project of Alternet (see WP:RSP).

Note: One previous discussion was held and was not conclusive.

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated

Thanks again.----ZiaLater (talk) 09:28, 12 December 2019 (UTC)

Survey: GrayzoneEdit

  • Option 2, that about tells me nothing about editorial policy or who writes for it. But looking at a sample of stories it all seems to be the same people some of whom appear to be editors of Greyzone. I think this is an example of some of it is SPS and some of it may not be, thus should be used with care.Slatersteven (talk) 10:06, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
Any conversation about this matter should be kept in one place. If you wish to address my doubts please do so here so others can see.Slatersteven (talk) 11:05, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: What doubts to you have? Just want to reply in a proper manner.----ZiaLater (talk) 11:23, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
"But looking at a sample of stories it all seems to be the same people some of whom appear to be editors of Greyzone. I think this is an example of some of it is SPS and some of it may not be, thus should be used with care." how much clearer could I have been?Slatersteven (talk) 11:27, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
@Slatersteven: The main issue that Grayzone has with its editorial policy is its political ties. Russia often utilizes Grayzone editors and its founder Max Blumenthal to disseminate Russian propaganda according to StopFake. The founder, Blumenthal, has been a frequent supporter and contributor of RT and Sputnik. Janine di Giovanni has said that "Blumenthal’s views completely flipped" after meeting with RT and that Blumenthal "has attacked not only the White Helmets but also Bana al-Abed, a nine-year-old girl who lived in rebel-held Aleppo and ran a Twitter account with her mother. ... The man ... now accuses anti-Assad Syrians of belonging to al-Qaeda and has claimed that the White Helmets were affiliated with the Islamist group". Hopefully this explains some of their editorial view.----ZiaLater (talk) 11:49, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
In addtion: The Southern Poverty Law Center has written "Blumenthal was not as clear of a spokesperson for Kremlin geopolitics before he appeared at the same RT gala as disgraced former National Security advisor Michael Flynn and the Green Party’s Jill Stein in December 2015. During that occasion, he joined a panel called “Infowar: Will there be a winner” alongside Alt Right anti-Semite Charles Bausman of Russia Insider. A month later, Blumenthal’s pro-Kremlin position crystalized with the founding of the Grayzone Project. ... With other Grayzone contributors, Norton has been criticized for downplaying war crimes and helping publicize false theories about rebels contaminating Damascus’s water supply".----ZiaLater (talk) 11:58, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3 Near as my research turns up, this is basically a gussied-up personal blog for Max Blumenthal and his cadre of close friends; anything which I would trust from this source I would first crosscheck against more reliable sources; and at that point I would just use the better source. I would use attributed quotes per WP:ABOUTSELF but otherwise I would never use such a site for speaking in Wikipedia's voice. --Jayron32 14:53, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1 It is a useful source of information and has a coverage and perspective that is not always available from other sources. I would attribute anything I used from the site. Burrobert (talk) 15:18, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
    What makes that perspective trustworthy? How can we know that the site's factual reporting is reliable? --Jayron32 19:05, 12 December 2019 (UTC)
    @Jayron32: They are possibly trying to make the "multipolar argument"? If someone today was told that smoking is unhealthy but then saw a 100-year-old smoker who attributes smoking to their longer than average lifespan, who would you trust? Having a perspective different from someone else does not make them reliable.----ZiaLater (talk) 04:03, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 4 or 3. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 16:05, 13 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 2. While Max Blumenthal has done some great journalistic work in the past, he's done some dubious work more recently too. We know nothing about Grayzone's editorial standards and it reads like a blog.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Bacondrum (talkcontribs) 23:39, 14 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3. Looks to be less reliable than Alternet, which is itself unusable. Guy (help!) 20:03, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3. One could use this to attribute stuff to someone with WP:ABOUTSELF I think. I can't seem to find anything on fact-checking and would need more information on standards, the people behind it and whatnot. - MikkelJSmith (talk) 23:04, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 1. Max Blumenthal is not the only journalist associated with this publication. Western state-mouthpieces like the NYT are considered reliable despite their obvious pro-imperialist bias, so why depreciate sources that dispute that narrative? Maybe Grayzone is pushing an agenda sometimes, but so are the western sources that are held up as infallible. LittleChongsto (talk) 16:36, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or 4. It is a self-published site. Most of its contributors are also regulars with Russian state media (e.g. Anya Pamparil is an RT America presenter) and its agenda seems to converge 100% with the agenda of Russian state media. An informed glance at any of its articles shows several factual errors, suggesting little or no editorial standards or fact-checking. It is a partisan site which might be usable for the opinions of its contributors if they are noteworthy but not as a source of news or information. BobFromBrockley (talk) 17:40, 17 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or 4. I found this article by Daily Beast (In Nicaragua, Torture Is Used to Feed ‘Fake News’) and I think it shows that the accuracy of Grayzone is worrisome. The article explains how The Grayzone Project published an article by "Charles Redvers", who, according to the article, lied about his background and identity. Redvers wrote about a video where 20-year-old Nicaraguan student Dania Valeska, after Sandinista militants besieged a church in Managua where she and two hundred other students sought refuge, was forced to recant, after being arreste, beaten and threatened to be killed. Redvers claimed that Valeska was "later shown to be play-acting", referring to the livestream she published during the attack, where gunshots could be heard and apologized to her mother, thinking she would die. Daily Beast quotes the United Nations as a rebuttal:

The United Nations human rights office disagrees. In an August 29 report, it noted that the threat to life was very real. “The church was subject to shootings by police and pro-Government armed elements for several hours, which led to the killing of two individuals and injured at least 16,” part of a crackdown the office said violated “international human rights law.” (The Nicaraguan government expelled the U.N.’s human rights team following the report’s publication.)

It is worth mentioning that Zero Hedge, which has been found to be unrealible for Wikipedia "due to its propagation of conspiracy theories" and because "it is a self-published blog that is biased or opinionated.", often quotes The Grayzone Project: [1][2][3][4][5][6]. In another instance, Grayzone even claimed that Democratic Socialists of America received financement by the United States State Department.[7]
As it has been pointed out, Grayzone is highly opinionated and a self-published site too. Its main contributor, Max Blumenthal, even responded once to an Al Jazeera report mocking victims of the Syrian Civil War. More information regarding Blumenthal's criticism here. Answering to other editors saying that other outlets are "Western state-mouthpieces" or have a "pro-imperialist bias" as a justification, two wrongs don't make a right. --Jamez42 (talk) 20:15, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
@Jamez42: Now that you mentioned Zero Hedge, Alexa Internet has some interesting metrics as well. The Audience Overlap shows that Grayzone readers often frequent Telesur (see WP:RSP) and the recently created Orinoco Tribune, which uses Telesur, Grayzone and Venezuelanalysis (see WP:RSP) as its primary sources. Looking at Grayzone's old domain name, "", Alexa Internet shows that 47.1% of traffic sources came from Venezuelanalysis, 45.3% from Consortium News and 20.8% from MintPress News (see WP:RSP).----ZiaLater (talk) 21:03, 18 December 2019 (UTC) Edit: Apologies, this is a traffic source comparison and not where Grayzone received their traffic.----ZiaLater (talk) 23:08, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
Also, you can see from the MintPress website that Blumenthal is listed under "Frequent Contributors" and the GrayZone Project is listed under "News Partners".----ZiaLater (talk) 21:41, 18 December 2019 (UTC)
Responses arguing for the support of Grayzone did not argue in support of their reliability. One argued that Grayzone is "a perspective that is not always available from other sources", using a multipolar argument unrelated to reliability (different perspective ≠ reliable) that the Southern Poverty Law Center has already covered. Another user argued "Western state-mouthpieces like the NYT are considered reliable ... why depreciate sources that dispute that narrative? Maybe Grayzone is pushing an agenda sometimes, but so are the western sources that are held up as infallible". This user makes an irrelevant conclusion, using established reliable sources as a red herring to target when we are instead trying to determine if Grayzone itself is reliable.
After summarizing what everyone has shared so far, one can see that Grayzone should be deprecated.----ZiaLater (talk) 11:39, 19 December 2019 (UTC) Option 3 should be the best for Grayzone as editors have concerns about the reliability, though its usage is limited. Using this option is less prohibitive on the source and should help with any concerns with WP:ABOUTSELF.----ZiaLater (talk) 23:54, 25 December 2019 (UTC)
ZiaLater per your analysis and the comments that came after I think I'll have to change my vote to Option 3 it satisfies the concern that I had for WP:ABOUTSELF. I'll have to strikethrough my previous vote and write a new one though - MikkelJSmith (talk) 23:52, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 4 per ZiaLater's and Jamez42's excellent analyses. There is no reason to ever cite this on an encyclopedia; this is a self-published blog by a fringe-y figure. To the extent one wants to cite facts, there's no indication that the blog has any indication of consistent fact-checking, use by others, or any of the other requirements we require. To the extent one wants to cite opinions, a citation to the website would violate WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE. Neutralitytalk 20:02, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 4, pretty well summed up by User:Jayron32 ("gussied-up personal blog for Max Blumenthal and his cadre of close friends), Guy ("less reliable than Alternet, which is itself unusable"), User:Bobfrombrockley ("its agenda seems to converge 100% with the agenda of Russian state media"), User:Neutrality ("self-published blog by a fringe-y figure"), and analysis by ZiaLater and User:Jamez42. This "cadre of close friends" do seem to re-publish each other's agenda, and no indication of more reliable authors at GrayZone have been given. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 23:27, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or 4. Inherits Alternet's general-unreliableness, and what use by others exists is not great - mostly it focuses on Max Blumenthal's arrest, which implies that the site itself has little independent reputation outside of being, essentially, his blog. --Aquillion (talk) 23:36, 22 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 2 While there are some concerns with this source, there are some contributors who are respected university researchers. I think we should take it on a case-by-case basis. ~EDDY (talk/contribs)~ 01:29, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
Which contributor is a respected (or even unrespected) university researcher? I couldn’t find any. BobFromBrockley (talk) 08:24, 25 December 2019 (UTC)
George Galloway is notable (as former UK MP, not as a researcher) and was interviewed on Brexit in a Grayzone video four days after you asked.[8] Check out their channel, it's not only Max Blumenthal. – (talk) 00:37, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
While Galloway is "notable," I don't think he falls into the category of "respected university researcher." Per his wiki page, he's worked for Press TV and RT, both both considered generally unreliable and frequently described as disinformation outlets that uncritically report conspiracy theories. He's more of a controversial political figure. - GretLomborg (talk) 19:40, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
Here's someone from academia: Jeb Sprague. --David Tornheim (talk) 20:57, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
Even though the term "researcher" was used above, for this sort of thing I would really want a professor instead of an RA. Sunrise (talk) 00:45, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 2 or 3 Should not typically be used because it primarily publishes investigative journalism (i.e., primary research) and opinion. Can be used for WP:ABOUTSELF or when they publish investigations whose notability is established by being taken up by other sources, e.g., Blumenthal's story about burning aid in Venezuela. Not frequently used, no need for deprecation. — cmonghost 👻 (talk) 04:45, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
  • @Cmonghost: You do make a good point that it is not widely used on Wikipedia. Maybe we should go the way of Venezuelanalysis in order to be less prohibitive, though editors agree that there may be some inaccuracies here. Deprecation could also cause issues with WP:ABOUTSELF, so I am thinking about moving towards Option 3.----ZiaLater (talk) 05:12, 23 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Option 3 Here[9] Grayzone says that reports on Chinese organ harvesting "rely without acknowledgement on front groups connected to the far-right Falun Gong cult . . ." Funny, Wikipedia's article Organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China sources include NYT, WaPo, CNN, the Economist, and so on. I will note that this is considerably worse than anything seen at certain sources that have been deprecated. However, as a general matter, I don't like deprecating sources, so option 3. Adoring nanny (talk) 16:25, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
The news source links China Tribunal to ETAC as per its website (the Guardian reports the same thing [10]), ETAC to Epoch Times, then Epoch Times to Falun Gong as per NBC [11] and the New Yorker [12]. The only part of the story that is original to the Grey Zone is taking people from the ETAC website and comparing them to those on the website of the Epoch Times, something which anyone can do with similar results (especially given the Grayzone has linked the relevant parts). The story's only claim that organ transplants were not happening was a link to a Washington Post article to that extent [13] and two words in an embedded tweet. El komodos drago (talk to me) 17:56, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 4 per Jamez42 and ZiaLater. It's basically a blog written by a politically-fringy figure that's closely associated with other deprecated news sites. I think deprecation is the best option to prevent it from being used to spread unreliable information. Any reliable facts it contains likely can be supported with more reliable sources that should be preferred anyway. WP:DEPRECATED#Acceptable_uses_of_deprecated_sources already provides an exception for a deprecated source to be used in WP:ABOUTSELF contexts. - GretLomborg (talk) 21:33, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1 or 2 per Slatersteven, LittleChongsto, Cmonghost, Jayron32. The editor Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist, writer, author, and documentary maker, who has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, Nation, Guardian, etc. (see his Wiki page). Reviews of his books have critical acclaim in many notable publications, but you wouldn't know it from reading the bulk of his Wikipage, because instead of an accurate summary of the reviews, those reviews have been cherry-picked for the juiciest quotes that are most likely to raise eyebrows and quotes from his harshest critics who call him an antisemite because he doesn't tow the line of being pro-Israel, and in Western politics it is criminal to criticize Israel.[1] He probably agrees with the U.N. that Israel should be charged with war crimes. Let's see what Time of Israel--a publication I often see used as WP:RS--has to say about the U.N.'s decision to proceed with war crimes[2]:
"Foreign Ministry vows Jerusalem ‘will not cooperate with this mockery,’ says ‘moral majority’ of states did not vote in favor of measure".
So if Blumenthal agrees with the U.N., apparently he is an immoral Self-hating Jew.
Some of the things Blumenthal writes about are shocking precisely because they are true, and the mainstream media will not share it. Like the fact that Maduro's troops did not burn the U.S. "aid" that was supposed to pass through the U.S. economic blockade, which is what nearly all the U.S. media said and never retracted. But Blumenthal showed footage that in fact the "peaceful" pro-Guaido activists were throwing Molotov cocktails that probably set the trucks on fire. Although the U.S. media got it wrong, they are not the "fake news" in this case, it's entities like TeleSUR that got it right that are liars and conspiracy theorists.
And indeed, many of the things Blumenthal says do challenge the corporate media's portrayal of events--which is why his award winning work is taken so seriously. He does not tow the line of the establishment, especially by not being a Zionist. Instead, he is labelled an "anti-semite" Jew by Zionists like Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi Marvin Hier, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.[14]. When a writer brushes up against the establishment by exposing certain things they are not supposed to, the "emperor's lapdog"--the establishment corporate media--is not going to like the experience. (Noam Chomsky)[3] Those raised eyebrows are the result of Blumenthal and his writers at Grayzone telling uncomfortable truths that need to be told:
"If these institutions [media] condemn us, that's pretty good reason to think we are doing the right thing."
--David Tornheim (talk) 07:04, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
As this RfC has run for 30 days, I've submitted a request for closure at WP:RFCL § Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#RfC: Grayzone. — Newslinger talk 10:23, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
+1, I fondly recall waiting for 30 days after the last comment before having fun with NAC on c:+m:. (talk) 04:21, 19 January 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Beinart, Peter (2019-03-07). "Debunking the myth that anti-Zionism is antisemitic". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  2. ^ staff, T. O. I. "23 to 8, UN rights council adopts report accusing Israel of war crimes in Gaza". Retrieved 2020-01-03.
  3. ^ Chomsky - "The Emperor's Lap Dog" (New York Times), retrieved 2020-01-03
  4. ^ Noam Chomsky on Corporate Media and Activism 2016, retrieved 2020-01-03
  • Option 2 -- I don't think I've ever cited Grayzone, but as the perspective is an outlier, I would attribute. (I assume someone has mentioned their "just let him talk" interview with Maduro.) 🌿 SashiRolls t · c 18:25, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 3 or 4 per the above analyses. On the founder (Blumenthal), it should be noted that the sources they cite are only a selection and multiple others haven’t been mentioned (e.g. see Max Blumenthal#Syria). Additionally, many of the arguments being used to support 1 or 2 for this source are fallacious, some on more than one level. For instance, the case described above as an irrelevant conclusion is also a tu quoque fallacy (which unfortunately is depressingly common in this context), and includes at least a couple of others as well. Sunrise (talk) 00:45, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 4 In additional all the above, Blumenthal has fabricated sources in the past and then claimed that the academic in question was intimidated into lying by a writer from The Atlantic [15]. --RaiderAspect (talk) 06:40, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1 Saying that the Grayzone is not an RS because it has been quoted by non-RSes seems something of a problematic argument - non-RSes quote from RSes all the time, twitter accounts quote from BBC reports for example. The argument that the Grayzone should be deprecated because of its audience seems similarly dubious.
Grayzone is also a long way from one member of the general public's blog. Its masthead includes Max Blumenthal who has written for The New York Times RSP, The Nation RSP, Al Jazeera English RSP, and The Daily BeastRSP, winning various awards; Ben Norton who has written for The Intercept RSP including a piece alongside Glenn Greenwald (yep, the same one person who published the Snowden revelations); Aaron Maté who writes for The Nation RSP and is a regular contributor to The Hill RSP; and Anya Parampil. It also hosts pieces from guest contributors. The style of their content strikes me as about as far away from a blog as it could possibly get but that's in the eye of the beholder.
The Grayzone also covers stories like the Burning Aid one [16] which are later picked up by major newspapers [17].
While I will maintain that these are serious journalist using sources like video footage to shine a light of international affairs from an angle not normally seen you can argue against its use in Wikipedia. Just please for the love of logic do so for what they are and what they publish not because a blog quotes them from time to time and their audience might also read unreliable sources. El komodos drago (talk to me) 19:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: Is Paste a generally reliable source for politics-related topics?Edit

Is Paste a generally reliable source for politics-related topics?

- MrX 🖋 16:41, 26 December 2019 (UTC)

For background, see the discussion above: #Endless problems on Media coverage of Bernie Sanders

  • Note: Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources has it listed as a general reliable source. Not sure why subject matters after fact checking has been verified and accepted by a project.--WillC 17:12, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
    Sources can have different levels of reliability in different subject areas. See WP:RSCONTEXT for more details. The scope of WP:A/S is musical topics, not general political topics. — Newslinger talk 17:14, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
    RSCONTENT says they may, it doesn't say they are defacto unreliable for that context.--WillC 17:18, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
    It's not de facto reliable for politics, either. This RfC will determine what the consensus is. — Newslinger talk 17:22, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
    That I won't argue, but its use is to cover the publication of articles and the negativity of these articles. Not for an actual factual statement regarding politics. Since we are discussing context, the manner in which it is being used is relevant.--WillC 18:00, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No - Their political coverage is superficial, and very high on opinion and low on fact. They routinely quote mine other sources, add a bit of snarky commentary, and call it journalism.[18][19] Most of their politics content is written by Shane Ryan, who seems to be a Bernie Sanders devotee and critic of mainstream media.[20][21][22][23][24]. Paste's coverage of politics is on par with The Root, (defunct)Splinter News, and Salon (the later of which Shane Ryan previously wrote for)[25]. - MrX 🖋 17:16, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
    • None of that disqualifies Ryan or the source per WP:BIASED and WP:NEWSORG.--WillC 17:20, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
      • I believe it does, and I've listed several examples to indicate why it should not be used as a source for politics content.- MrX 🖋
        • Well this is where you are going to need to list that. Because Ryan being a fan of any politician doesn't make the source less reliable nor does being involved in opinion content. If that was the case, there would be no reliable sources.--WillC 04:03, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No, and people saying it is are being silly. It's a specialist source, and that speciality isn't politics. Advocates trying to rules-lawyer RS guidance to push it through have fundamentally misunderstood Wikipedia sourcing - David Gerard (talk) 17:24, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, per the comment of MrX. I did not find discussion on Splinter or Root, but there was some on Salon, with no consensus achieved, and a recommendation for adding attributions to its statements. If their politics content is written by the same person/people, then they should have the same treatment. Biased sources should not summarily be prohibited – not least because following such a guideline to a T would ban even so-called RS in politics such as CNN, (MS)NBC and ABC, given that they are for-profit entities with billion-dollar-scale political interests. Permit the political coverage of Paste Magazine, but attribute it as progressive or leftist in citations if such is the general sentiment of editors. As such, the discussion on this should probably not center around bias, but whether it can be trusted to be factual – and the fact that they have been deemed RS in other topics tells me they shouldn't be assumed without evidence to be untruthful. Selvydra (talk) 18:39, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No. It should not be used for factual statements. There's nothing to indicate it has a reputation for fact-checking and reputable reporting in politics. It may be used for attributed statements if they meet WP:DUE. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 20:01, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes. It's already reliable for other articles on Wikipedia, thus I don't think it would publish falsehoods in other topics. It would be idiotic for their reputation for them to do that -- especially for a source that's been cited by WaPo, NYT and other RS. When looking at their politics page, I've seen similar analyses in different sources. Just with a quick look this article [26] has subject matter that's been featured in many news articles by RS in the past few weeks. Another example would be this [27], I've read similar pieces/arguments in the Hill. So, I don't think that we should paint the source with a big brush due to bias -- even if the tone of some articles is snarky at times (which I don't particularly like). And as for bias, we've had sources with bias used on the site. So, in the case of bias, Paste should probably be attributed. So, in other words, the same conclusion that was given for Salon. I think that would be fair for consistency too. - MikkelJSmith (talk) 22:10, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes: Obviously I find it reliable. Apart from Albums finding it reliable, which means that project has established credibility through factual accuracy, I'd like to point out a couple of things about the site. Particularly that CNN featured it during headlines and as per policy "The goal is to reflect established views of sources as far as we can determine them" which displays the viewpoint by CNN regarding Paste as a credible organization to lend time. Chicago Tribune has cited it and even listed it among the best magazines. The book American Directory of Writer's Guidelines has a section regarding the Paste editing behavior, including editorial content, fact-checking, and reliability. Paste was named "Magazine of the Year" by the PLUG Independent Music Awards in 2006, 2007 and 2008. In 2008, 2009 and 2010, Paste was nominated for a National Magazine Award in the category of General Excellence. Though they are minor awards, the organization is notable enough for an article. Washington Post, New York Post, and The Guardian have all covered Paste. To "reflect established views of sources" seems to be that Paste has a good reputation among sources or at least a reputable magazine. In fact, Guardian has employed Hari Ziyad for content and he has worked for Paste as well. Shane Ryan also writes for Paste and is the subject of the citation at stake. He is a New York Times bestselling author and written for ESPN The Magazine and Golf Digest in addition to Paste. These are just a little bit of the information I found through a simple google search. As for context regarding source, it appears Paste is moving beyond just music and film now as it has an official section for politics. Which means determining if it is fitting for this material. The policy says it may not be reliable but not that is automatically. I suggest the above material makes it reliable as is for all topics due to established factual accuracy as a generally reliable source in addition to other sources recognizing it and its editors as having credibility and reliability to do material of their own. Like before, the goal for RS is to reflect the views of the source. I feel the views regarding Paste and its editors is positive.--WillC 23:26, 26 December 2019 (UTC)
    Wrestlinglover, you forgot to link to the Albums page. Here's the link : Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources. MikkelJSmith (talk) 22:40, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes as per the coverage of it in other reliable sources as detailed above, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 02:51, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Yes, reasonable politics-related WP:USEBYOTHERS across the political spectrum in eg. Vanity Fair, Vox, Vox again, New York Times, Fox News, The Colorado Independent, Snopes, The New Yorker, The Guardian. --Aquillion (talk) 04:27, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I checked five of those sources: four (N Yorker, Guardian, Vox x2) do not cite Paste magazine for factual statements, but for explicitly partisan punditry (in the same way that those sources might cite op-eds from the Daily Wire and Breitbart as a reflection of where conservatives stand on a topic). One (NYT) cited Paste for its reporting, but that was for its arts coverage.[28] Here are the ways in which the four sources cite Paste: "the Chapo Trap House hosts have been lauded by Paste magazine as the “vulgar, brilliant demigods of the new progressive left”"[29], "Paste magazine labelled “Chapo Trap House” the “vulgar, brilliant demigods of the new progressive left.”"[30], " “This is classic Booker — stand out front on feel-good social issues, regardless of his past positions, and align with big money everywhere else,” wrote Walter Bragman at Paste Magazine."[31] and ""The Democratic establishment doesn’t want a Democrat as president – it specifically wants Hillary Clinton as president," writes Brogan Morris in Paste Magazine."[32] This is not a RS outside of its arts coverage. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 18:26, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    When looking at the sources posted by Aquillion, three of them that you didn't mention cite Paste for its political coverage : [33], [34] and [35]. MikkelJSmith (talk) 22:48, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
  • This source quotes a statement made by a politician to Paste (which RS also do with non-RS).[36] The Snopes piece does not cite Paste for factual information, it cites Paste because a person that they were fact-checking pointed them to a Paste article and they cite the website as part of a genesis of an unfounded conspiracy theory (just like they would with non-RS).[37] The Fox News is by the hack Brian Flood in Fox News's "entertainment" section which is solely devoted to misleading smears about other nets outlets. So, in short, the only RS that has cited Paste for its politics reporting is a piece by Fox News (an outlet that I've for years argued is not a RS, it's also an outlet that would not hesitate citing all kinds of non-RS from our RS perennial list) attacking CNN.[38] And the piece is petty as hell. CNN failed to mention that university students in the DC area who attended a Democratic primary townhall had also interned with liberal political groups? What is this: "Abena McAllister, who was described by Blitzer as “active in Maryland Democrat Party,” was listed by CNN’s chyron as a “mother of two.” However, she is apparently the chair of the Charles County Democratic Central Committee." It's exemplary of the kind of petty BS that Paste is used for on the Media bias against Bernie Sanders page. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 23:15, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    I skimmed the 2nd one so I missed that, sorry. As for the first of those, I will have to disagree that still seems fine to me. As for the third one, Fox News' website is RS, so I don't see why Paste wouldn't be used, but this does re-affirm my belief -- which I mentioned above -- that Paste should be attributed though due to its bias (just like Salon). MikkelJSmith (talk) 23:47, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
  • " partisan punditry" = "partisan expert analysis". The point of RS is to establish to reputation of a source against secondary sources. Established sources crediting Paste in any way that is positive suggests they have a positive reputation regarding Paste which establishes credibility and reliability.--WillC 04:09, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • RS frequently cite the likes of the Daily Stormer, Breitbart News, Daily Wire, Gateway Pundit and InfoWars. Simply being cited is not what WP:USEBYOTHERS is about. It's about being cited for statements of fact. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 04:24, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • It clearly states the goal: "The goal is to reflect established views of sources as far as we can determine them." The problem with that argument is that the secondary sources list them with a negative reputation. These list Paste with a positive reputation. That is what makes one credible and the other just a child screaming into a bag.--WillC 05:23, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • None of the sources, with the exception of one NYT piece on Paste's arts coverage and a Fox News piece, cite Paste in a positive way. I don't understand your need to not budge an inch on anything. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 13:39, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • I don't have to when you don't read. Literally Vanity Fair, Vox, Vox again, New York Times, Fox News, The Colorado Independent, Snopes, The New Yorker, and The Guardian all referenced Paste in positive light, either using it as a factual source or as a source for opinions. None treated Paste as a bad source or pushed negativity towards it when referenced.--WillC 17:53, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • If that's your standard for positive light, then the Daily Stormer, Breitbart News, Daily Wire, Gateway Pundit and InfoWars have also been cited in a positive way in RS. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:58, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Have they? And sources?--WillC 21:56, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No Couldn't find a corrections page on their site. Adoring nanny (talk) 11:32, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
    Adoring nanny, why would that disqualify their reliability? Genuinely curious, since some sources only correct below the article and they're reliable (i.e. they don't have a corrections page). MikkelJSmith (talk) 18:08, 27 December 2019 (UTC)
Do they do that? Adoring nanny (talk) 13:03, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure. I was just asking you a question regarding that point. MikkelJSmith (talk) 19:44, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No Paste Magazine is only an RS for music, not for politics. Others have correctly noted that their news coverage consists of a small handful of opinionated writers. For an outside opinion, I see that MediaBiasFactCheck also notes they are left-biased: --MaximumIdeas (talk) 02:00, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
    • A bias doesn't negate reliability per WP:BIASED--WillC 04:09, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
    • I'm seeing way too much conflation of bias and opinionatedness with unreliability. One does not automatically beget the other. If it did, CNN, MSNBC and Fox wouldn't be RS either (AT&T, Comcast and Fox Corp. have tremendous political interests – the difference is they purport themselves to be unbiased, while most leftist sites do not claim such). Selvydra (talk) 09:32, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
      • Which is really upsetting because it is an attempt to discredit in such an invalid way while remaining ignorant to arguments against such position. It is a very disingenuous position that is brought on by an editors own inherent bias. All media sources have a bias. To claim bias that does not impact its factual capabilities as reason to deny reliability of a source, would basically level all of Wikipedia's ability to source statements. Even scholarly sources maintain biases simply by covering specific subjects.--WillC 10:12, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
        • You two are right that the outlet could still be given a “reliable but biased” rating; the issue is that it also has no reputation for reliability in politics coverage, as numerous others have noted.MaximumIdeas (talk) 14:54, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
          The thing though is that as I mentioned above it was cited for its political coverage by Fox News (the reliable Fox News stuff not the Hannitys and whatnot) and another source MikkelJSmith (talk) 16:15, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
    MaximumIdeas, we don't use mediabias/fact check, it's considered unreliable. MikkelJSmith (talk) 14:21, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No Doesn’t appear to have any credibility in the field of politics, especially in regards to factual reporting or journalism. Toa Nidhiki05 15:05, 28 December 2019 (UTC)
  • No Not it's area of expertise. And of course it's possible to be reliable for one thing but not another. I might count as an "expert" in my professional field (where I have educational credentials and experience) but am no more than an uninformed layperson in plenty of others. Publications are the same way. Current American politics is not exactly a niche field lacking in sources; no need to stretch to include these out-of-scope resources. If anything, we should be significantly more restrictive on which sources we use in this area, as it is one where disinformation is rampant and reliable sources are plentiful.Just a Rube (talk) 13:01, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: The New RepublicEdit

Which option best describes The New Republic?

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated

Thanks! --Jamez42 (talk) 12:04, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

  • Option 2: I am not seeing why this is unreliable, what am I missing?Slatersteven (talk) 12:12, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Before we proceed - What is the reason for this RFC? - David Gerard (talk) 13:04, 31 December 2019 (UTC) Furthermore - speedy close as malformed RFC, started with no context for question - someone please? - David Gerard (talk) 17:18, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
I agree we need to stop these RfC's that are eliminating all WP:RS that is critical of U.S. regime change efforts in Venezuela. The same group of editors who dominate the Venezuela pages (e.g. [43]) have been eliminating these sources one-by-one with their !iVotes and often citing a connection to or supportive views of Maduro, e.g. Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR),TeleSUR, Venezuelanalysis, Grayzone, HispanTV. I have good reason to believe this editor wants the New Republic eliminated to make it easier to delete material that is unfavorable to Juan Guaido who he supported in this this edit war here. --David Tornheim (talk) 13:48, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Tornheim, please have a close look at WP:EDITCOUNTITIS (an argument based on that is unlikely to be sound). I know you read the discussions of how my editcount is inflated by the way I edit, the amount of cleanup I do, and the amount of intra-article copying and moving of text I was the one to do, after discussion. I certainly know you know that I no longer participate in those articles (precisely because of false examples of editors succumbing to EDITCOUNTITIS to attempt to discredit my editing, when I was the one doing all of the cleanup and consolidating between articles). I do follow RSN, and I will continue to participate here when I see marginal and state-sponsored sources being used inappropriately. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:42, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
The list includes:
Centre for Economic and Policy Research CEPR - RfC still running
Telesur deprecated in 2019
Grayzone - RfC still running
MintPress News deprecated in 2019
Venezuelanalysis deprecated in 2019
Burrobert (talk) 14:34, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

This is a tired and dumb argument about rfc's here. What is the point of this noticeboard if not to discuss reliable sources? If a source is debated then a discussion and survey is great, and if the result is a firm consensus that should set a precedent with that source lest something changes ie: new owners, new editorial staff etc. We save a lot of time/repetitive debates/edit wars etc by having a list of reliable sources. The debates been had, move on. I personally think these endless and inevitably frivolous oppositions to rfc's are disruptive. Bacondrum (talk) 02:35, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Options 1 or 2. It should be attributed for controversial claims or for things that other RS have not covered. Snooganssnoogans (talk) 13:51, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
  • Close as malformed RfC. The original poster has offered no evidence one way or the other. This constant series of RfCs trying to anoint or condemn sources without context needs to stop. The long term effect is for those with one POV to vote sources with opposing POVs "off the island". This is a bad practice and does not help make better articles. Springee (talk) 13:57, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
  • In this case, UNDUE. As with all matters of RS, one size does not fit all, and reliability of a source depends on the text being sourced. In this case, the author is Mark Weisbrot, a chavismo cheerleader, who has not evidenced fact checking or journalistic principles wrt Venezuela, and has been shown to be factually wrong multiple times. I can't fit that into the "Options" formulation above, but Mark Weisbrot is highly biased on Venezuela, and inserting opinions from him is UNDUE. I suggest those who want to insert anything said by Weisbrot should try to find similar at NYT, WaPO, or any of the other left-leaning mainstream media. I have not formed an opinion on The New Republic in general, but if it is like other sources that feature(d) Weisbrot's work (e.g.; The Huffington Post), we can look at how we rate their reliability, and the reliability of their contributors. We perhaps have the same situation here-- a source that demonstrates little journalistic concern about contributor opinion it publishes. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:45, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
    Option 2, based on information below from User:Alcibiades979 and User:MaximumIdeas, as well as the examples of fringe reporting from User:Aquillion, then we would place New Republic similarly to how we place National Review. Separately the Weisbrot-authored opinion would be UNDUE and Option 3 according the scheme above. So, that yields Option 2 or 3. SandyGeorgia (Talk) 18:55, 4 January 2020 (UTC)

Can we please discus the source, and not each other?Slatersteven (talk) 16:45, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

Could someone please provide an example of what text is being proposed based on this source and at what article? In general, looking at the Weisbrot-authored article, an examination of all of the preposterous positions and demonstrably false claims (compared to more reliable sources) that it advances would be too lengthy to be of use here. What are the specifics so that DUE WEIGHT can be evaluated? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 16:52, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
I think a significant number of us have been fearing this sort of source-silencing for a long time. I certainly was worried, with Wikipedia being as omnipresent as a source of information, that there were nowhere near enough protections in place to keep it from being used by schemers and agendists for profit and power. Now we see a part of it happening here.

No. The New Republic is a good source. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 17:12, 31 December 2019 (UTC)

Jack Sebastian I'm just pinging you to remind you to vote for which option you think is best. - MikkelJSmith (talk) 18:53, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
Sorry. Option 1. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 14:22, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1 or 2 The New Republic had a tumultuous time in the 2010s, but most of the coverage that I can find of it criticizes the publication's business and marketing decisions, not so much their actual journalistic quality [44] [45]. They've had managerial troubles, and our article for them documents a number of controversies involving individual writers and editors, but as of this year CJR is still treating them like a leading American news publication, even if they're not what they were in the 20th century. signed, Rosguill talk 19:08, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
I think its fair to say that very few media outlets have survived the fake news bombardment unscathed (which is an utter shame). Yes, the NR has had its share of controversies, but here's the thing: they always end up being on the right side of a news story, and they have survived crises that would have detonated other news agencies. - Jack Sebastian (talk) 19:17, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
I think that this is less due to fake news and more due to the general influence of the internet on news media. TNRs trajectory over the past decade has mirrored Newsweek to an extent, with the caveat that TNR appears to have reversed some of their more disastrous decisions made 2014–2016 and now have new editorial leadership which seems to be less interested in picking up the clickbait market, whereas Newsweek took the full plunge.signed, Rosguill talk 19:53, 31 December 2019 (UTC)
Contributor opinion (eg Weisbrot) is still distinguished from the source in which it is published (eg Huffington Post as a different example). To evaluate the contributor in this case, versus The New Republic in general, we still need to know what the proposed text is. In general, Weisbrot's writing often has demonstrable factual errors, but as a chavismo cheerleader, he is a good source on what Maduro/Chavez believe/state/think/do. Specifics, please? SandyGeorgia (Talk) 02:34, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 2 A lot of New Republic pieces read like opinion pieces. For example, as of right now on their home page, we have "A Unified Theory of the Trumps' Creepy Aesthetic"[46] which talks about Trump's "smirking melon-ball head", "impossibly accursed foods", and an aesthetic that is "always so shitty". I also couldn't find a corrections page on their site but did notice that they said corrections could be submitted as letters to the editor, which seems a little weird, but does also show some interest in correcting errors. So I can't exactly say that they are unreliable, but I can't really say they are reliable, either. Adoring nanny (talk) 11:54, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Comment @David Gerard:@Springee: I'm a little confused regarding the malformation of the RfC, since from what I gather RfCs have to be started in a neutral manner, without including own's positions.
As it was suggested before, the source was recently added to the United States involvement in regime change article, although I deeply regret that David Tornheim used their comment to attack and accuse me and other editors about unrelated topics. Browsing through the noticeboard's archives, it seems that the outlet's reliability has not been discussed in the past, so I want to know the community's position. Media Bias/Fact Check rates New Republic as having a left bias based on story selection and editorial positions that frequently favor the left. and high factual reporting due to proper sourcing of information and a clean fact check record., which is why I think attribution is needed and Option 2 best describes the outlet, but I've seen we don't depend on Media Bias/Fact Check to determine source reliability, another reason why I thought the RfC was the best option.
If needed, I can solve this issue, reopen the request for comment or close it, depending on the best option. Once again, many thanks in advance. --Jamez42 (talk) 12:29, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Jamez42, MediaBiasCheck is considered unreliable on wikipedia. See [47] - MikkelJSmith (talk) 18:30, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
Not an attack. Everything I stated here is completely verifiable and has been observed by other editors in this RfC and elsewhere about the needless elimination of sources with these unnecessary WP:RfC's. These sources cover things outside the scope of the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis.
If you truly believe that what I stated above has no legitimacy, maybe it is best we take it to WP:AN/I. Would that be better venue for you? I am happy to open up a section there about my concerns. --David Tornheim (talk) 13:49, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, take it to ANI or user talk pages, we do not discuss users here.Slatersteven (talk) 13:56, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
@MikkelJSmith2: I know, which is why I said that we don't depend on Media Bias/Fact Check to determine source reliability and a reason of why I started the RfC. --Jamez42 (talk) 18:34, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
Jamez42, oh sorry, I misread your paragraph. - MikkelJSmith (talk) 18:53, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
MikkelJSmith2 No worries, thanks for your input :) --Jamez42 (talk) 18:59, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Options 1 or 2. Pretty much agree with the arguments above. I would also like to add that interestingly this chart [48] puts it in the same ballpark as the Daily Beast, The Intercept, Mother Jones, the Nation and Vanity Fair. I'm not treating it as gospel, but based on other information I know about the source, that seems correct. So, reliable but biased would be the assessment here I think. - MikkelJSmith (talk) 18:53, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 3. The New Republic says in its own about section that "For over 100 years, we have championed progressive ideas."[1] So they have a self-described left-agenda. Furthermore, they have no editorial policies separating their news from this editorial agenda. Given this, while it can be an RS for opinion or investigative reporting, it should be used with extreme caution when it comes to political reporting. Separately, am curious to hear from @David Gerard:@Springee: where in the guidelines it says that a description is necessary for an RFC. --MaximumIdeas (talk) 02:08, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1: Generally reliable. Opinions should be attributed of course. Burrobert (talk) 05:22, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Options 2 or 3. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's purely opinion, no? I started reading through some articles and at first was put off by the fact that opinion wasn't labeled as such, until I did some research on the paper and found that it's purely opinion. This is even stated in its |about page: "We don’t lament intractable problems; our journalism debates complex issues, and takes a stance. Our biggest stories are commitments for change." So in this light it should be treated like any other op-ed source. It most definitely has a point of view, its writings use persuasive rhetoric to argue for that point of view. Alcibiades979 (talk) 06:40, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1: per Burrobert "Generally reliable. Opinions should be attributed of course.", per Slatersteven,Snooganssnoogans, Rosguill, and Jack Sebastian.
Still as I noted above--and others have concurred--I find serious problems with having these RfC's, when a standard post following the rules of WP:RS/N is all we needed in this case. I suggest we have a wider discussion about these RfC's and create limits on when they are launched and insist on a clear justification for them.
Perhaps, simply requiring in advance that editors show clear and convincing evidence that an RfC is needed, and requiring them to first make a request to hold the RfC here at WP:RfC--one that gains approval before it is permitted to be launched. These RfC's--especially when few non-involved editors show up (not the case here)--can have huge negative impacts on sourced material from the past and into the future. It can also create a strong POV problem if sources with a particular bias (all sources, including NYT, CNN, etc. have systemic bias) are eliminated by editors who do not like that bias. We cannot follow our key guideline of WP:NPOV if we continue to eliminate or deprecate publications that include opinions by experts, simply because the opinions have a particular bias that the editors who show up to the RfC do not happen to like, whether that bias is left, right, pro- or anti-nationalism, etc.
Also, these "fact-checking" sites have strong biases, and these are often used to "discredit" a publication in these RfC's, sometimes because of a single incident [to be exanded] I think these fact-checking sites may be even less reliable than the publications they are assessing. A single claim in one of these sites should not be the basis for deprecating a source. --David Tornheim (talk) 09:37, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree with David Tornheim. I haven't see anything to make me think this isn't a generally reliable source but that doesn't mean we should treat every article as automatically reliable etc. My primary concern is there are too many of these RfCs recently and it seems their objective is to either anoint as "good" or "bad" a particular source. David's concern about systematic bias if too many sources are voted off the island or enshrined is also a concern. When someone comes here with an open ended question about a source I think the question that should be asked is, why are you asking? What have previous RSN discussions said? Can you provide an example of how this source is going to be used in an article? I don't recall ever working with/around the editor who opened this RfC nor do I recall dealing with The Nation as a source often enough to have an opinion on it (I had to look it up to see if it was left or right leaning!). Regardless, we simply need fewer of these blanket RfCs. It seems like far to many have come out since the Daily Mail was deprecated. Perhaps this noticeboard should have a rule stating that RS discussions must include context examples (what article is going to be used where) or have examples of previous RSN discussions before we can have a RfC to assign a stamp of good/bad on any general source. Perhaps we should spend a bit more time discussing if individual articles are making sound claims vs just assuming because it comes from "RS" it must be good. Either way, as it stands I'm opposed to RfCs such as this one. Springee (talk) 14:39, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1 or 2. They're a complex case because their ownership and direction have shifted over time. On the whole they are generally reliable; they are often WP:BIASED, but the direction of that bias has swung back and forth over time, as our article on them discusses, so knowing the era a particular piece was written in and who wrote it is important if you need to determine if and how it's biased on the particular subject at hand. They have also occasionally published WP:FRINGE positions, especially Charles Murray's views on race science. That was a bit of an outlier and on the whole they are probably reliable due to their established reputation and relatively few scandals that directly impugn their journalistic accuracy, but it's important to pay attention to who wrote a particular piece there and to use in-line citations when necessary. --Aquillion (talk) 06:30, 4 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1 leaning left or right is beyond irrelevant. Have they published falsehoods? Nope. Have they got good editorial standards? Yes. This is a high quality left leaning source (everyone has a slant, whether they accept it or not). Bacondrum (talk) 01:00, 11 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 2 either the website does not clearly label opinion content or it's all opinion, so it should be attributed in articles. buidhe 03:53, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 2: I do have to agree with concerns of a potential blur between fact and opinion, though it does have some editorial standards. Definitely should be a source that is attributed.----ZiaLater (talk) 12:13, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting. I've seen no report of specific factual errors in comments above. Everyone looks at a set of (who, what, when, where) facts and makes their own (why) interpretations. -- Yae4 (talk) 17:48, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 1; as others have said, I haven't seen any suggestion they make factual errors (except, presumably, with the low frequency that even the "best" sources occasionally make errors). If, as some have said above, reports from certain eras are biased in one way or another or need attribution, that can be discussed on a case-by-case basis (or brought up again here if and when there is an actual problem). -sche (talk) 07:48, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 2, but only because I don't accept option 1 in relation to any regularly updated source The only sources we can confirm as "generally reliable" are "closed" ones like books that have been published in a finished state. I also despise the fact that many Wikipedia editors (most recently, in my recollection, here) would like to use popular news media (and "scholarly" sources in unrelated fields) as "generally reliable" sources even in cases in cases where they are definitely wrong. Lacking further information, options 3 and 4 in this case appear to be something only someone with a political axe to grind would buy in to. Hijiri 88 (やや) 08:07, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Close as malformed RfC. Like Springee said. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 14:48, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: MetalheadzoneEdit

Which of the following best describes the reliability of Metalheadzone?

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

Supplemental information about the website: Publishes news about Rock and Metal bands both modern and old. Does have a page dedicated to user submitted news but the form seems to be down so unsure if there is user generated 'news' being submitted and published, or if any is, if it's being verified in any way. EliotWL (talk) 17:24, 7 January 2020 (UTC)

  • I don't see any indica of reliability there. It appears to be essentially a blog. Guy (help!) 01:47, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Strongly unreliable - we’ve already had a discussion and come to a consensus on the music WikiProjects. It’s listed at WP:NOTRSMUSIC] as a result of it. Sergecross73 msg me 18:55, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Option 2 Their does not provide any indication of editorial oversight or policy. They do list at least two contributing staff, but no credentials are provided for them. I suspect that factual reporting could be considered reliable, while reviews may contain personal opinion rather than anything else. However, since it's on NOTRSMUSIC, I would stay away from its use. Walter Görlitz (talk) 21:26, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Even a “2” is pretty generous. As I mentioned in the WikiProject discussion, the head person who writes a vast majority of the articles has a disclaimer at the bottom articles that essentially states that he doesn’t have a great grasp on the English language. Which explains the extremely misleading or poorly worded headlines they frequently pump out. Sergecross73 msg me 00:59, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Why are we jumping straight to RfCs? - Ryk72 talk 06:13, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
    • If you look above There are two metal zines that no one has discussed, and have subsequently been archived. Perhaps EliotWL saw that and decided to have some actual input. Walter Görlitz (talk) 06:38, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
      • Not reliable. Appears to be used in only 11 places.[49] On review of the site, I concur with JzG, above, I don't see any indica of reliability there. It appears to be essentially a blog. and Richard3120 here, It's literally a group of Turkish guys reposting anything they can find online related to rock and metal on their website. It seems to be 90% tabloid/Buzzfeed-style "shock! horror! nightmare!" exaggerated headlines that preface mundane anecdotes. - Ryk72 talk 07:26, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Generally unreliable Most of these articles have BLP considerations and this style of tabloid gossip can't be recommended. Dartslilly (talk) 18:54, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Why Wikipedia Is Much More Effective Than Facebook at Fighting Fake NewsEdit

For the interested, Haaretz on WP:s deprecated sources. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 22:37, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Yup, Facebook believes in freedom of speech, we don't: WP:NOTFREESPEECH. Also, “anyone can edit” should be changed to “anyone can edit constructively”. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:47, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Nah... anyone can still edit... it’s just that nonconsructive edits will be removed or amended by other editors. Blueboar (talk) 23:36, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Wikipedia, the encyclopedia that anyone can attempt to edit signed, Rosguill talk 23:45, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
Then certain things cannot be said, thus no freedom of speech. (soapbox alert) this at its heart if the problem with certain attitudes towards absolute Free speech. It is regarded as not only the right to be wrong, but the right to outright lie. This may be partially true, but us not allowing it is not different from me not being able to right for a major newspaper or walking into Number 10 to call Boris a liar to his face (or come to that to go into any of your houses and launch a foul mouthed tirade at your kids).Slatersteven (talk) 10:32, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Haaretz's choice to refer to deprecation as "delisting" halfway through the article is odd, and their phrasing suggests that we have some sort of immutable hierarchy of validity for various types of publications, but otherwise it's a good read. Their decision to counterpose our against Facebook's content moderation is interesting, and in an ideal world would motivate Facebook to try harder, although I'm not sure the comparison is entirely fair because the goals of the two platforms are rather distinct. signed, Rosguill talk 22:50, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • What bothers me is that this article shows how most people have misunderstood what “deprecation” means... it is viewed by too many as being a “ban” on using certain sources. However, it is SUPPOSED TO BE a more nuanced “limitation” on usage. Almost every RFC that resulted in “deprecation” includes carve outs and exceptions... situations when the source IS acceptable. We need to do a better job of explaining that. Blueboar (talk) 23:46, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Based on the way that some editors are removing the two deprecated sites mentioned there from articles, it clearly does not mean limitation on use to them. I've seen editors remove it and add {{cn}} for innocuous facts. Walter Görlitz (talk) 23:51, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Yeah it is a defacto ban. If it was meant to be or not really does not seem to matter unfortunately. PackMecEng (talk) 23:52, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I've seen the same thing as Walter. It's one of the reasons why I've universally opposed deprecation. Springee (talk) 00:52, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
  • All content, even innocuous facts, should be sourced to RS, unless they are clearly "the sky is blue" type facts. If a fact is only mentioned on unreliable sources, then we can't be sure it's true, and even if true, it doesn't have enough due weight. See my comment below. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:57, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
  • May I suggest you raise that point to the film project and TV project? It is their collected opinions that once a film has been released or TV program has aired the need for sources has ceased, going so far as removing sources that have been supplied up to that point. There are other projects that have taken similar stances, but those are the two that irk me most. However, WP:V does not support the ubiquitous need for sourcing you espouse. It only goes so far as to state "all quotations, and any material whose verifiability has been challenged or is likely to be challenged, must include an inline citation that directly supports the material." Walter Görlitz (talk) 02:20, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Walter Görlitz, I find that rather disturbing. We don't accept IMDB because some of its content is crowdsourced and thus not reliable enough. Is "no source at all" somehow more reliable? They are on a slippery slope, and inline citations must be provided if any content is challenged.
I'm not sure if there is any discrepancy between what I wrote and the WP:V policy. The "inline citation" must still come from a RS, and that applies to all article content. Otherwise, basic facts that are of the "sky is blue" variety don't need such citations.
BTW, I'll happily modify my statement, so please continue to discuss and critique it. -- BullRangifer (talk) 02:33, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
All the film and TV people are saying is that a film, TV episode or book is its own reference. But this only applies to what is actually in it. If you are acknowledged in the credits, then that is fine; but going beyond that by saying that we heard somewhere that you were a ghost-writer is WP:OR. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 02:39, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Well, those are primary sources, so one must be careful. We can use primary sources for uncontroversial facts, but not much else. For example, we cannot use them for interpretation. Without secondary RS, we cannot know what weight to give that information, so such content can be challenged. -- BullRangifer (talk) 03:45, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Deprecation should have only one exception: "can only be used in its own article, and then only if it's not unduly self-serving." All our content, facts and opinions, must be sourced solely using RS, with that being the only exception. Since my research includes reading content from both RS and unreliable ones, I will often find details in unreliable sources which might be factual, so I then search RS for those facts. If I can find them, I'll use the RS. If they are not found in RS, I can't be certain they are factual, and even if they are, they don't have enough weight to be mentioned, since use in RS guides our determination of due weight. -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:20, 10 January 2020 (UTC)

Just to give one example of an exception specified in RFC: Daily Mail - old reporting (from historical days when the Mail was under different management) is considered reliable. So, at a minimum, we are SUPPOSED to check when the report was published before we remove it. Context is important. It bothers me that people are ignoring this. Blueboar (talk) 00:34, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Good point. Is there a cut-off date at the deprecation notice? -- BullRangifer (talk) 00:44, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
No, it's just something someone said in passing in the RFC. Nor is it clear if this was before or after "HURRAH FOR THE BLACKSHIRTS" - David Gerard (talk) 07:19, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
  • In Wikipedia terms, this is pretty straightforward: if, like OANN, a site has a history of publishing conspiracy theories or falsehoods without robust fact-checking and retraction, then including any content from that source puts Wikipedia editors in the position of arbiters of truth. We have to decide which stories are true and which are false, rather than allowing the normal process of journalistic checks and balances to do this. We can only do that by seeing if sources we consider reliable, say the same thing. And if they do, well, we should be using the reliable sources instead.
That's what deprecated means. You can't trust it without verifying from another, more reliable source, in which case why would you not use the more reliable source instead? Deprecated is not the same as "generally unreliable", it's a specific outcome we reserve only for sites that are sufficiently deceptive that we should never use them. I personally would never use the Washington Examiner for anything, but it's not deprecated. WorldNetDaily is. That distinction is valid and entirely consistent with the five pillars. Guy (help!) 11:36, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

A problem for WikipediaEdit

The point is made in Haaretz that the preponderance of right-wing sources among our deprecated list is interpreted by conservatives in much the same way as Twitter bans on hate speech: most of the affected sources are conservative, therefore this is anti-conservative bias. Obviously it's not, but there are more liberal Wikipedians than conservative (for reasons that are inherent to what Wikipedia is) so we need to work doubly hard to be sure we hold all sources to the same standard.

I have given this a lot of thought recently, and the discussion above re. the Haaretz piece highlights an issue I think we need to address more clearly: reliability versus bias (or, as Springee put it above, WP:V versus WP:WEIGHT).

  • A biased source is likely to be treated as requiring attribution.
  • An unreliable source is likely to be deprecated.

Bias and unreliability correlate (albeit rather asymmetrically, see below). We have deprecated only a few of the hyper-partisan left sources because, with a few notable exceptions, they are still more accurate than hyper-partisan right sources, so we treat them as biased (attribution required) rather than deprecated. Not always: AlterNet is generally more unreliable than the deprecated Breitbart. IMO AlterNet should be deprecated, and you could make an argument that based on current data Breitbart could be "generally unreliable" rather than deprecated (albeit that this would make little practical difference).

Our challenge as Wikipedians is to demonstrate that our decisions about source reliability are based on solid, rational, empirically factual grounds, and not on our politics. Part of that is ensuring that sources are treated similarly according to their position on objective bias / accuracy axes. Some sources only rate on political leaning, and that's dangerous for at least two reasons:

  1. Fox News online and CNN cable have similar levels of bias but fact-checking shows CNN cable to be more reliable than Fox News;
  2. Wikipedia treats bias and accuracy separately.

Bluntly, I do not think we should ever use any source outside the Ad Fontes "green box of joy" as a source of fact. That would put The Daily Beast, CNN cable, MSNBC, Mother Jones, The Intercept and so on outside the realm of usable sources for facts - at least in articles on current politics. In my view, nothing of value would be lost.

The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Right-partisan sources are more biased, more consistent with each other, and less factually accurate

The way right-partisan media works has changed significantly since 2015. I have often referenced Network Propaganda, an excellent book that I think every regular here should read. This documents the different incentives that have driven asymmetric bias in American media. What the data shows is that right-leaning media is currently dominated by a positive feedback loop where social shares and hence advertising revenue are driven by the extent to which a source agrees with other sources in the bubble. Fox suffers penalties if it published accurate information that conflicts with the conservative narrative. Mainstream media is dominated by a negative feedback system of fact-checking. Washington Post will suffer if it published factually inaccurate stories however much they may align with liberal talking points. Hyper-partisan left sources are as ideology driven as hyper-partisan right, but they are likely to be contradicted or fact-checked by mainstream sources and, crucially, their audience is almost certainly consuming those sources, whereas consumers of conservative media often (and in many sources not just often but generally) are not. Sean Hannity probably does not care if the Washington Post rates his claims as Pants-On-Fire, but Rachel Maddow probably does.

If you look at the Ad Fontes chart, a useful guide which rates sources on a continuum by both accuracy and bias on separate axes, what you see is exactly what that asymmmetry would predict: that the average of right-leaning sources is significantly more biased and significantly less reliable than the average for left-leaning sources. With the exception of the New York Post, IJR and Reason, pretty much all common right-leaning sources are now outside the region of mainstream journalism, and all have significant issues with factual inaccuracy and promotion of conspiracy theories. On the Ad Fontes chart, starting with New York Post and working left, there's a continuum of first increasing and then decreasing accuracy as you move from leans right through neutral and into leans left and on to partisan and hyper-partisan left. But if you go to the right, there's a huge gap before you hit the right-leaning sources. And 40% of American readers live in a world where these sources are True and anything that says otherwise is Fake News. I've read several scholarly sources that agree on this.

That feeds into conflict here

The result is that conservatives generally see unanimity between the sources they consider reliable, which may be unanimously contradicted by sources we consider reliable. A lay understanding of the psychology of cognitive dissonance is sufficent to understand this, and to know that we cannot fix it. We are doomed to have these debates forever because we cannot change the underlying mismatch between mainstream reality and that of the conservative media bubble. Mainstream has come to be seen as the opposite of conservative, and that's a real problem for us at this page, and for any editor active in current politics.


I guess what I am arguing is that we should do a few things to formalise the way we conduct discussions that may result in widespread changes to the project and external commentary.

  1. Segregate WP:RSP into two or three blocks: one for general websites (VHChartz, TV Tropes and the like), one for media, and one for actual fake news (News Front etc).
  2. Introduce a template for RfC discussion of sources (that is, the entire source rather than one or a few uses of it for a specific fact).
    1. Include an assessment of impact. Deprecating WorldnetDaily, Occupy Democrats or InfoWars has no real effect on Wikipedia because no competent editor would use them anyway, but deprecating Breitbart and the Daily Mail had a substantial impact.
    2. Be explicit about the difference between bias and accuracy, and include this in debates.
    3. An RfC for any source with more than $THRESHOLD number of uses (perhaps 1,000?) should be advertised at WP:CENT.
  3. Agree a consistent set of tools for assessing reliability, that minimises the possibility of political bias - so, look for right-leaning fact check sites, and exclude all fact-checkers that do not assess media from both sides of the spectrum.

What do others think? Guy (help!) 14:14, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

I'm not seeing the argument for any sweeping changes (and I'd even disagree with your "a problem for Wikipedia" framing.) The Haaretz piece largely praises our system; the way we do things now is working, on the whole. Our articles - the high-profile ones, the ones that get enough attention and focus to avoid getting hijacked by a single committed editor, anyway, which is the real risk but only happens on peripheral topics - are largely accurate, reliable, and evenhanded. Yes, if you zoom in close on the talk pages there's a ton of ink being spilled in the AP2 topic area, but if you zoom out most of that is actually pretty minor - it's being spilled over minor wording tweaks or a sentence or two that wouldn't be utterly unacceptable either way. Compared to the vast gulf in the world as a whole, we've actually done pretty well at finding consensus. A lot of other coverage says similar things - that Wikipedia has remained largely reliable in an era where many other online information channels are fracturing or showing their flaws. Our system is, mostly, working, so I don't see how that supports an argument for changing direction. Your argument mostly seems to be that people who live in a bubble of unreliable sources are going to look at our articles and see them as biased, but that's always going to be the case - it has nothing to do with the arcane intricacies of how we handle reliable sources, and everything to with eg. our article on Global Warming not saying what the facts-optional talking head on TV tells them it should. That is not something we can fix; the problem is not on our end. --Aquillion (talk) 08:54, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Aquillion, don't get me wrong, I am really not overblowing this, but there is no doubt that conservatives perceive a serious bias against them as a result of the majority of deprecated sources being conservative - there's a perception that we deprecate due to bias, and do this asymmetrically, whereas in fact we deprecate due to accuracy and it is merely coincidental that the most biased and most conservative sources are also the least accurate.
That's why I'd like to formalise the RfC process: to show that the assessment is fair. I agree that the issue of conspiracy theorising and outright falsehood in the right wing media bubble is very much not our problem to fix, but it is our problem to manage and I think we could do a better job of it. I am encouraged that you don't see this as a major issue, though - I would be happy to discover that I am being oversensitive to this form of criticism. Guy (help!) 09:25, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
If you followed that path, here is what you would see: First, to the extent that anyone pays any attention to the change at all, it would be covered, in the sources that the people you're trying to convince trust, as "Wikipedia admits it has a problem with bias against us, takes piddling efforts to fix it." Second, perceiving the change as a sign that sufficient pressure can get Wikipedia to reflect their views, the complaints about bias would increase sharply in volume. Third, nobody who thought the system was unfair before would think it was fair now, because what they actually want is, again, our articles on the hot-button topics they care about to reflect their view of the world (and because, again, by changing policy in response to complaints that it is unfair, you've given people with strong political preferences about our content and policy an added incentive to continue to be intransigent in hopes of extracting more concessions.) And, finally, all those practical issues aside, it would be a bad rationale to change our policies - our goal is not to appear fair, our goal is to be fair. One of the reasons we've been so successful at maintaining factual accuracy when so many other sites have failed is because we categorically reject the false balance of prioritizing the appearance of accuracy. Our job is to reflect the best available sources, not to sell Wikipedia to people (though I think that the site's success shows that maintaining that laser-tight focus on getting things right will, ultimately, be successful at winning people over.) --Aquillion (talk) 12:45, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Clarity and thoughtfulness surrounding the deprecation of sources seems like an excellent idea, but maybe not approaching from this direction? Conservatives may often be correct to "perceive a serious bias against them", but are so very often wrong in identifying the causes and horrid at arguing solutions. Sourcing policies on Wikipedia may allow bias to flourish in some areas, but as Aquillion points out working towards the goal of neutrality is "mostly working" on high profile articles. I'd disagree with him tho that this is the "system" working, i would say it is the result of competent and thoughtful editors expending a great deal of effort to make the system work.—eric 13:26, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
I mostly agree with Aquillion's comments here, although I would consider perception to still be an important secondary consideration. To the extent that there's an issue here, I would say the easiest way to respond is probably to emphasize the counterexamples that people can point to. The articles tend to mention Occupy Democrats but I've never seen anyone cite MintPress News in this context yet; likewise, Telesur doesn't seem to get mentioned despite being very left-wing by the standards of the American "left-right" axis. If Grayzone (currently still under discussion above) is deprecated then it would probably also be a good example. If that approach is insufficient, or if those examples are challenged for some reason, I suppose there is also the option of making it clearer to outside observers by specifically deprecating a couple more of the thousands of other sources that unambiguously qualify for it. Fake news websites aren't limited by political alignment, after all. Sunrise (talk) 23:22, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

I do not think we need to separate out fake news. At the end of the day any actual fake news site should be depreciated if not out right banned. I think (part from perennial "but I like it" arguments) RSN works fine.Slatersteven (talk) 19:05, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Proposals 2.0, 2.2, and 2.3 are great ideas, in my opinion. Currently, editors are copying The Daily Caller RfC because it's linked in the instructions at the top of the page, as determined in the 2019 header text RfC. An RfC template could be edited as improvements are identified. For instance, it would be helpful to remind the RfC starter to provide links to past discussions and prominent examples of usage, and it would be helpful to remind RfC participants to consider context. I agree that bias and reliability should be evaluated independently, and that RfCs on frequently cited sources should be advertised on WP:CENT. — Newslinger talk 09:15, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

It was a good read, but paragraph 4 had a falsehood: "Like all decisions at Wikipedia, the addition of a news outlet to the list is determined by a community vote." Everybody makes mistakes. So, I see the site-by-site approach as almost doomed to failure. I agree Wikipedia has enormous problems, and I would not trust articles for anything. The only way to dig out the full story on most topics with any controversial aspects at all is to carefully review edit histories and talk page histories, and this defeats the whole purpose of having articles. I know equal time is not a thing here, but maybe every article deemed to involve controversy should have a certain, limited amount of space available for the proponents of different sides (possibly more than just two) to make their best cases, like debates. As it stands, the more persistent editors suppress almost everything they disagree with, almost including the existence of disagreement at all. Sorry to be so negative. -- Yae4 (talk) 19:52, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Your suggestion is incompatible with the undue weight policy, which states: "Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all, except perhaps in a 'see also' to an article about those specific views." There are other wikis that are more sympathetic to fringe views, but Wikipedia is not one of them. — Newslinger talk 20:05, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
When discussing possibly making major changes to solve major issues, referring to WP:IAR seems better than referring to current norms. I acknowleged "equal time is not a thing here," but that doesn't preclude allowing some amount of space to be reserved for presenting "minority" views, to lessen accusations of suppression. Anyway, the issue isn't just "theories" or "science" or even "ideas". Here is a simple factoid example. Let's say someone wants to "follow the money," and answer the question, how much is spent on mainstream climate science research and politics, compared with how much is spent on non-mainstream?
Climate_change_denial#Funding: roughly $900 million
Global_warming_controversy#Funding: TL;DR but has a couple numbers, 1.2 and 16 million
Global_warming a couple mentions of funding of scientists who disagreed with "scientific consensus," but no number, and no link, so had to do a search to find:
Climate_finance#Flows_of_climate_finance "estimated that climate finance reached $437 billion"
Shouldn't it be easier to find both numbers in an encyclopedia, maybe in one place? -- Yae4 (talk) 15:08, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
"Both numbers"? You've pointed to four types of numbers, and seem to be conflating different things: CC denial funding goes to misinformation and advertising, Climate finance is “finance that aims at reducing emissions, and enhancing sinks of greenhouse gases ...." etc. so is financing action to stabilise the climate, not sums funding scientists of whatever views on CC. Of course, if a reliable secondary source puts together the comparison you seem to be suggesting, then you can cite that. . . dave souza, talk 17:48, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Dave souza, Previous editors took the trouble to include an easily found number for "denial" funding, but in Wikipedia I haven't been able to find a comparable number for "mainstream" science and politics funding. I did misunderstand the purpose of "Climate finance," so thanks for that. -- Yae4 (talk) 18:33, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Yae4, perhaps you misunderstand the purpose of this page, which is about reliable sources – "original research isn't accepted here, and you can't ask others to do it for you. If you're interested in the complexities of funding, you may find Willie Soon's arrangements informative, but here the discussion is about assessing good sources. . . dave souza, talk 22:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Dave souza, I understand the purpose, but the process and measures for RS determination look completely arbitrary and biased in application, so I don't understand that, for sure. I'd already seen that article, but thanks again. -- Yae4 (talk) 22:44, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • My only contribution to this is a famous quote by Stephen Colbert: "Reality has a well-known liberal bias". This is not necessarily true in the world in general, but it certainly is true in the context of these sources. So if Bob ThreeHats is on his laptop, raging that we're not letting him says that Mexicans are planning to invade the USA to be part of George Soros' army based on something he saw on InfoWars/Rush Limbaugh/Breitbart, I really don't see why we should concern ourselves with the appearance of being fair to a person who's idea of being fair means endorsing his prejudice against facts.
Neutrality isn't painting a picture in dull grey when one side says black, and the other says white. See WP:LUNATICS, but apply it to politics instead of science. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 23:21, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

An exampleEdit

David Gerard (talk · contribs) writes "The source is deprecated - see WP:THESUN - and should not be used at all - even as a placeholder. So I would like to discuss this clearly here. I have seen Gerard remove the source, even for uncontroversial sports reporting as well. Walter Görlitz (talk) 17:33, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

See the sun RFC below.Slatersteven (talk) 17:35, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
No. This is the correct location. As you can see, @Blueboar:, @PackMecEng:, @Springee:, and @BullRangifer: have voiced opinion here and so the discussion belongs here, not in a new location that David Gerard wants to discuss it at. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:59, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Its an example of what? what has the sun got to do with the above?Slatersteven (talk) 19:06, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Did you read the article? "Another British tabloid, The Sun (published by Rupert Murdoch’s News Group), was added this past year, as were similar outlets in Iran and Venezuela. The same goes for the left-wing Facebook group Occupy Democrats, which was delisted as a valid source of information." There was a brief discussion about editors removing deprecated sources and tagging instead of fixing. Essentially equating deprecated with blacklisted. This is an example of an editor removing a reference to a site that we have deprecated rather than 1) tagging is as unreliable or 2) finding a source that could be used in its place. He goes on to complain about me below. Walter Görlitz (talk) 08:37, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Secret warEdit

A book by Philip J. Cohen [1] is often used on the project. The question can pretty much relate to other books authored by the same person. Cohen is a MD (without a degree in history) who was connected to Clinton administration (plus the political party led by Franjo Tuđman) which had their own interests during the Yugoslav Wars, which took place at the time of the publishing. More importantly, the book/s is/are met with heavy criticism (bad use of sources, use of fringe sources, cherrypicking, not going per NPOV and what not). Several notable persons like Jovan Byford even called it "quasi-historical writing". The more information is given in the article on Cohen. Should this book be used as a RS? ty Sadkσ (talk is cheap) 18:22, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

He is also a BA, he also has a wide expansive of the area (having been A UN adviser). Thus he may be RS for his views (and thus can be used with attribution).Slatersteven (talk) 18:37, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
Bachelor of Arts, not History. That is important. Not just anybody can/should publish a book on sensitive issues such as these. The position of UN adviser is of little merit, because the book is about WW2 and other periods, not the 90s. Sadkσ (talk is cheap) 19:10, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
Errr a history degree is a BA.Slatersteven (talk) 19:12, 12 January 2020 (UTC)
Texas A&M is a well regarded, peer reviewed academic press, which should be considered for due weight. It got a reasonably positive review from a non-Balkans scholar,[2] while the negative evaluations seemed to come from individuals from the the area, who may have their own agenda. Perhaps Peacemaker67 would have some insight? buidhe 01:23, 13 January 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cohen, Philip J. (1996). Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History. Texas A&M University Press. ISBN 978-0-89096-760-7.
  2. ^ Cooper, H. H. A. (13 September 2018). "Book Review: Serbia's Secret War: Propaganda and the Deceit of History:". The Journal of Psychiatry & Law. doi:10.1177/009318539702500108.
This comes up regularly, usually from those that don't like his conclusions (they are critical of Serbs). They usually complain that he was a dermatologist and ignore his UN work. An overview of the praise and criticism of the book is provided at Cohen's article. I consider him reliable and he certainly is reliably published, but his opinions generally need to be attributed and used with care, as he, like many authors, has his biases. His factual stuff is fine to use unattributed. Peacemaker67 (click to talk to me) 01:34, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
That is not the point. One can be critical with proper use of sources, which is just one of several problems with Cohen's work. This is not Wikipedia:I just don't like it. Exactly, thank you for pointing that out, he is critical of Serbs instead of Serbian government or Serbian leadership or parts of the Serbian army, parts of the Academy, choose your pick. Sadkσ (talk is cheap) 18:21, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm glad someone brought this issue up. First of all, Cohen does not have a degree in history. He has a B.A. according to his Wikipedia page, in what is not clear. Though even if his B.A. is in history, that doesn't make him a historian. That's what a PhD. is for. He is a medical doctor who for some reason, became interested in the Balkans during the 1990s and took a hard-line anti-Serb stance.
He cozied up and maintained strong ties to Franjo Tudjman and his ruling Croatian party during the 1990s, receiving a medal of honor from Tudjman. This from a leader who, mind you, if he hadn't passed away would have likely been indicted by the ICTY for war crimes and a regime who committed their own atrocities in Croatia and Bosnia. The regime also tolerated and even at times promoted a revival of the country's WW2 fascist regime and holocaust revisionism. Yet Cohen, a Jew, had no issues with this, writing exclusively about Serbs, who undoubtedly were responsible for a good amount of atrocities during the 1990s.
My main problem with Cohen is that, upon observing his bibliography, literally every single one of his books (and other works) is about how bad the Serbs are and how they're responsible for all the problems in the Balkans. This isn't my opinion, it's plainly obvious when glancing through his works. I'd give him a pass, if say he had also written about other topics like the rise of Croatian or Albanian nationalism for instance, but there is none. It's just a strange obsession with demonizing everything Serbian. Unlike a serious academic or historian, he makes no attempt at objectivity. As the OP has noted, several Western academics have questioned his motives and historical interpretations. Little is also known about him, except what is written on the back of Serbia's Secret War and what other writers have been able to find. Only one picture of him exists online, also from the book. For someone who has written so much about Serbs, been a U.N. adviser for the Clinton administration and fancies himself an expert on the Balkans, it's bizarre.
Therefore, my view is that he can't be considered a reliable source, due to his dubious academic credentials, personal connections, promotion of one-sided POV and unusual criticism from reputable scholars regarding his work. If Serbia's Secret War or any other Cohen material is to be used at all, it should be done very sparingly and with an abundance of caution. I'm not necessarily opposed to it being used for uncontroversial statements but not when it comes to interpretations of history and documents or formulation of views and conclusions about Balkan issues.--Nolanfranyeri (talk) 03:15, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
This Manchester University Press book[50] calls it a "controversial pro-Croatian revision of Serbian history." A Stanford University Press book[51] "Century (Aldershot, U.K.: Ashgate, 1997). Two studies that explore important topics, but in which censorious zeal trumps balanced scholarship, are Branimir Anzulovic, Heavenly Serbia: From Myth to Genocide (New York: New York University Press, 1999) and Philip J. Cohen, Serbia’s Secret War". A book by Raphael Israeli[52] after a few other negative comments says "Dennis Reinhartz, a professor of history, said in his review of Cohen’s book that Serbia’s Secret War belongs to "the current popular-historical and journalist literature that seeks to demonize and condemn more than to chronicle and elucidate fairly."* He also added that the book was in danger of degenerating itself into an irrational conspiracy history and belongs to those history works of the Balkans that contribute little to our understanding of past events and their impact on the present.". There are a few positive comments in his article on the book, but I don't see how such a controversial book can be a reliable source. The Bachelor of Arts degree will almost certainly have been a science degree, required to get into medical school.[53] There seems to be a common misunderstanding with people thinking a BA is always a humanities degree. Doug Weller talk 13:40, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
It works the other way too. My partner, an academic historian, has an MA, an MSc and a PhD - all in history. You can't make assumptions about the subject from the title of the degree. GirthSummit (blether) 07:53, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
FWIW, his degree is listed online in archives: It's in Social Sciences. [54] But a degree neither validates nor invalidates anyone as a subject matter expert by WP guidelines. SilverbackNet talk 05:39, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

I'm opposed to deeming this source unreliable in all situations. This book was published by a solid academic press, and if you check Philip J. Cohen's Wikipedia page, you can see that a half dozen reputable scholars have a high opinion of the book. In cases where other reliable sources don't clearly refute what Cohen is saying, we should just cite Cohen without attribution. If a specific claim that Cohen is making is found to be disputed by other historians, then Cohen should be cited with attribution. Almost every history book will have some positive and some negative reviews, and this is no exception. However, a few negative reviews is not good cause to purge the book entirely. ErinRC (talk) 20:26, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

It looks like ordinary wartime propaganda: "An objective and thorough history of the World-War-II Serbian puppet state under Milan Nedic certainly is needed, but Serbia's Secret War is not it. This is not an exhaustive study, nor did I find it unbiased" [...] "Serbia's Secret War addresses several important historical topics, but does so poorly and incompletely."[1] The war is over, or someone still fighting?--Nicoljaus (talk) 12:18, 17 January 2020 (UTC)


  1. ^ Dennis Reinhartz' Review, doi = 10.1093/hgs/14.2.300

RfC: PureMédiasEdit

Since this is a source that's never been discussed before, I'd like some opinions on PureMédias:

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated

Thanks. ToThAc (talk) 17:33, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

What's the usage that brings this question up? (Without that, this probably isn't worth doing an RFC on.) - David Gerard (talk) 17:41, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Oppose RfC on Principle Is this being used much? Have people raised a concern about its use? If no then why bring this up. Do we even have enough information to reach a conclusion one way or the other? My feeling is if a source hasn't been used much or discussed much by others then we have little on which to judge. It could be a relatively young source that will gain a strong, good or strong , bad reputation over time. However, if we have a RfC now, it might result in a thumbs down which would then keep the source out of Wikipedia even as it's real world use improves. Sorry, if we have little information on the source then we should look at specific examples of use rather than make a general proclamation. Springee (talk) 17:49, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
@David Gerard and Springee: Sorry, I must have forgotten to show you this source's usage. Here you go:    . It appears to be used primarily for sources relating to French television, politics, and musical numbers. ToThAc (talk) 18:37, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, but what provokes you to bring up the question? What's the editorial dispute concerning the source? - David Gerard (talk) 07:14, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@David Gerard: Thing is, at first glance, it appears to be some sort of online database of people, somewhat like IMDb. ToThAc (talk) 03:13, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
It looks more Hollywood Reporter than IMDb. Maybe ask editors on fr: instead and bring that discussion here. SilverbackNet talk 05:10, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: What's on WeiboEdit

Here is the link: I believed that it meets the realiable source standards for Chinese social media-related issues. The website mainly focus on Chinese social media especially Sina Weibo. Also, could the source use in Chinese BLP articles?

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated Mariogoods (talk) 23:40, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC on The SunEdit

I do find it rather concerning that perfectly good citations can be utterly destroyed due to poor RfC judgement. Why an out-right ban? This edit by David Gerard has removed a citation from the newspaper and place a cn tag in it's place. I see nothing wrong with the Sun article. If another article can't be found the citation should remain and maybe tagged. I've never seen an admin with such bad judgement across over this area. There has been a lot of links removed regarding The Sun's sports articles and some other topic wiki articles. Citations should be weighed on what they contain, not from who it is written. I strongly suggest more common sense and another review and I would go so far as to say I think David should be topic banned from removing citations relating to this conversation. Govvy (talk) 00:23, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Concur. There was nothing wrong with the article. More common sense (and another review if necessary) are needed here. --MaximumIdeas (talk) 03:56, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I see you're not claiming there's a reliable source stating that particular claim - is there one? I looked and couldn't find a non-deprecated statement of it. It appears to be a contrived-to-sound-interesting statistic of the sort that The Sun (and the Mail) often print, but when I go to research them - and I do go to research them - I can't even verify the basic factual claims.
The RFC says: any uncontroversial information which can be sourced to the Sun (sports score-lines et al) can almost-always be sourced to another source of repute. Is this a score from a match, or similar facts from a match? It doesn't look like one to me. Or is it a claim contrived to sound interesting?
You seem very keen to defend the Sun - a source which was deprecated in an RFC, meaning that every usage must, per WP:BURDEN (which is policy) be justified. This appears to be because you have a family member who works for The Sun. I submit that this isn't a good reason for Wikipedia to let clearly questionable claims cited to deprecated sources through - David Gerard (talk) 06:56, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I'll emphasise again - if you can find an RS for this particular claim - and it's a great claim - that'd be awesome! It's possible I just haven't the right book to hand, or my personal Google filter bubble has led me astray, or something. But it's well outside the level of sports score lines et-al, so you'll excuse me if I'm deeply reluctant to trust interesting and eye-catching claims from a source that has been formally deprecated for repeated falsification of information - David Gerard (talk) 07:11, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  1. Folha de Sao Paulo
  2. BBC
  3. book page 39, would need checking to ensure it isn't cloning wiki article
  4. second book page 184, same check as above required
  5. ESPN
There will be dozens of similar books and almanacs making the rather basic claim. Koncorde (talk) 07:27, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Reuters Koncorde (talk) 07:51, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • If a factual claim appears in one source and only one source, and that source is not considered generally reliable, then the factual claim must be taken as suspect at best. If a better source can be found, then it should be used in the deprecated source's place. There should be nothing controversial about any of this basic Wikipedia policy, except among undisclosed paid editors. Hijiri 88 (やや) 07:37, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Separate response to the request for the RFC and smear on the editor. I would suggest that a Conflict of Interest per WP:INVOLVED is in play for Govvy.
Attempting to attack another user because your favourite uncle / cousin / relatives article was published in, and may be employed by, one of the least reliable tabloids in the UK for basic fact checking is lacking any rational foundation. To go as far as suggesting a topic ban in light of their own COI suggests that they themselves perhaps should be the ones looking at their own bias when it comes to The Sun, and in particular any material published by their relative if they are unable to see that criticism of the paper is not the same as criticism of an individual.
Any number of alternatives can be found (see above) making the presence of The Sun for the uncontroversial claim basically moot. Unless they had personally done the investigation and brought the information to light, however in this case they likely just read another published source likes the Football Guide or similar. Koncorde (talk) 07:40, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@Koncorde: Technically, you could say I can have a lot of conflict of interest relating to over 100+ articles on wikipedia. But calling every person that has ever done work for a newspaper liars? Even a cartoonist? I find offence in that, I also find it strange that some, not the majority, the majority of The Sun citations I would remove, but some are okay. A primary statement with a primary source, I wouldn't argue or remove that. But David has done just that regarding The Sun RfC in play. I think he should review over some of his actions and stay away from making any more similar edits. Wikipedia shouldn't burn resources it can use. That to me is like Nazi's burning books, ideological stupidity. Govvy (talk) 09:53, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
There's nothing "technically" about it. You are related to the person in question whose article you have perceived as being slighted. In response to this you have asked for a topic ban for an experienced editor. You haven't asked for him to review his edits, or consider your opinion - you have created a request for an RfC entirely loaded on the idea that David deserves to be topic banned and that he is (somehow) misinterpreting a very clear original RFC that The Sun is a shit newspaper of little reliability for any purpose beyond basic facts in sport, and even then there will be infinitely superior sources that we can use.
Using emotive words like "accusing", "liars" and "Nazi" is not only flagrantly misrepresenting the issue, but is then putting icing on the cake with Godwins Law. No, not all sources are equal. Yes we already throw away a lot of unreliable sources. No we do not using primary sources other than for basic facts because you can't trust primary sources to be objective about anything else - and that is where The Sun has historically had issues: it presents itself as its own primary source, with its own opinions liberally mixed in depending on whoever the editor is at that time.
The Sun is reliable (tenuously) for its own opinions. It's writers are reliable (tenuously) for their own opinions. We can say things like "in an article for The Sun X described Y as one of the greatest living players" or "a poll by The Sun in 2015 listed X as the greatest Premier League Manager" in a narrative sense. This is pretty much the only instance when they can be relied upon (and to be clear, 'relied' in this case is assuming that they don't fudge their own polls and declare conflicts of interest such as when boxing promoters promote their own boxing events in their own columns, and tie it to betting sponsored by the paper itself through their own betting company).
I cannot defend The Sun at any level, for pretty much anything. There are better sources available for pretty much any subject matter that they have reported on. Not because they are universally liars, not because they don't occasionally get scoops or do real journalism, but because their bad journalism and bad scoops have earned them a reputation that makes them fundamentally unreliable. Koncorde (talk) 10:33, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Whilst this may be true [[55]] its does not matter. The Sun cannot be trusted for statements of fact. It is a by word for shoddy Journalism and dishonest reporting.Slatersteven (talk) 10:27, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
@Newslinger: Are you not able to use one of the English language sources? I don't read Portuguese and google translates a bit funny! Makes it a little unhelpful. Govvy (talk) 14:10, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Non-English sources are allowed under WP:NONENG. Reliable non-English sources are preferred over questionable English-language sources, including The Sun. If you can identify an English-language source for this claim that is similarly reliable as Folha de S.Paulo (which excludes The Sun), no policies or guidelines prevent that source from being cited. — Newslinger talk 14:20, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
There are four or five sources I provided above (including the Folha one), anyone can add them at their own leisure. Koncorde (talk) 14:45, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, Koncorde! I've added Rowley's book to the Corinthian F.C. article, and used Parrish and Nauright's book to replace a "citation needed" tag in Sport Club Corinthians Paulista. — Newslinger talk 23:08, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Which all takes us back to "if better sources exist use them". We do not need the SUN for anything useful.Slatersteven (talk) 12:40, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
A more optimistic view would be "maybe the Sun isn't 100% garbage, maybe only 80%". So why not leave both references? Clearly it is fine in many cases. There is no such thing as a perfectly reliable source. This whole deprecation thing has been a huge debacle. Pelirojopajaro (talk) 12:58, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Precedent, We leave it in once when it is correct and the next time that will be used as an example of why it should be used alone. That is why it has been depreciated, the constant arguments about including some random bit of title tattle or out right lie. Its easier just to say no.Slatersteven (talk) 13:03, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
The problem with The Sun is that it isn't 'fine' in many cases, and its writing is not only open to interpretation but subject to persistent misinformation as a result of its incredibly low quality. Given probably most of the content of the article in question was leached liberally from Rob Cavallini's Play Up Corinth and the Corinthians own homepage at the time it's amazing how badly it has been mangled. To quote the article in question: "The club were formed in 1882 in a restaurant by St. Paul’s Cathedral, which was since destroyed in the war." I ask you a few simple questions based on this:
  1. What was destroyed in the war? Multiple choice = The restaurant? The cathedral? The club? 1882?
  2. Who formed the club in a restaurant? = Answer = "they were formed in a restaurant by St Paul's Cathedral"
  3. What is the correct formulation of "English" grammar "was since destroyed in the war"?
Onto the next few paragraphs: "They were formed by the then secretary of the FA, N.L. “Parr” Jackson, as the England team were suffering, failing to beat Scotland — and the idea was that this group of top players would play together regularly and improve as a team. They would play no competitive matches, only friendlies. And within seven years, they were hammering Scotland with nine Corinthian FCs in their starting line-up."
  1. Who was hammering Scotland? Answer = Corinthians FC
  2. What was significant about Corinthian FC beating Scotland? Answer = they did so with only 9 of their own players in the starting line-up.
Next claim: "Football back then was known as Association Football and Charles Wreford-Brown was talking to a fellow Oxford University student, who asked him whether he fancied “a game of rugger” — which was an abbreviation of the word ‘rugby’. Wreford-Brown replied that he would rather player ‘soccer’, shortening the word ‘Association’."
Our survey says: "apocryphal""apocryphal""apocryphal" and there are many more, it's one of the most oft repeated stories. Most sources are kind enough to state that it is just a story however.
Lets try some fact checking "Between 1883 and 1890, 52 of the 88 caps awarded in matches against Scotland went to Corinthian FC players."
The likely original source is BBC from a blog for local clubs unclear who Mr Cracknell is.
And then lets go for some sensationalising to boot (ignoring more terrible grammar this time): "In 1914, Corinthian FC decided returned to Brazil but, as soon as they landed, received word about the outbreak of World War I and decided to immediately return home — dodging torpedoes along the way."
  1. per other reliable sources: The ship was informed en route. The players knew about the outbreak of war mid-journey. 4 Naval reservists were dropped off in Pernambuco where a British Naval vessel was already in place, the rest sailed on then returned from Rio.
  2. Did they really dodge torpedo's? The best sourcing I can find is that at one point they had to change direction to avoid contact with a German vessel.
In short; badly written school project level mix of information cribbed from a number of sources on the internet mixed with. Koncorde (talk) 14:02, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • My opinion: First, the Sun shouldn't generally be used, although of course the nature of the statement affects how severe of a problem it is and therefore how pressing it is to do something. (This one was, granted, probably not pressing.) Second, yes, the ideal way of dealing with it when a statement is uncontroversial and easily-sourced elsewhere is to find a better source - regardless of how we feel about the rest, plainly the Sun is at least a low-quality source and replacing it with a better one that cites the same statement is always an improvement. Third, given the importance of WP:RS, and given the insignificance of the cited statement, replacing the cite with a citation-needed tag was still defensible and reasonable (even just removing the cited text entirely would have been acceptable, since it's not a vital part of the article) - unless they're making an absolutely huge volume of similar edits, which you don't seem to be alleging, I don't think anyone should get in trouble for replacing a poor source with a CN tag now and then; it's a situation where we want to encourage editors to err on the side of caution. Note that the vast majority of David Gerard's removals of sources under those RFCs are uncontroversial improvements, eg. other sources already exist. Fourth, if someone objected, the appropriate thing to do would have been WP:SOFIXIT - just find a better source yourself, that's what the CN tag is for. Fifth, based on that, dragging David Gerard here without making even a token effort to find a better source first seems like an abuse of process. You're arguing that David Gerard's replacement of a low-quality source with a citation-needed tag is so damaging to the article that it requires sanctions, while you yourself apparently didn't consider it worth the ten seconds it would take to insert a superior source that would clearly resolve the issue. That's not a reasonable position to take; editors are supposed to take reasonable steps to resolve an issue themselves first, and "find a mutually-agreeable source to replace one that is, at least, definitely low-quality" is obviously the first step here. --Aquillion (talk) 22:34, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
    • SOFIXIT also applies to David Gerard fixing the source rather than simply removing it and tagging it. At the very least, he could leave the source and add a {{better source}} with a reason of the source being deprecated. Walter Görlitz (talk) 22:48, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Disagree. When dealing with something that uses an inappropriate source, which route you take (remove source and leave fact tag, remove cited material entirely, add better source tag) is a judgment call based on a number of factors, such as how bad the source is, how likely you think it is that the material can eventually be reliably sourced, and the statement being cited; none of those options are particularly bad and all are generally reasonable actions to take. Finding the hypothetical ideal source is the best outcome, but the importance of WP:RS and WP:V means that we can't demand that, and can't sanction people for reasonable judgement calls made when patrolling sources - maintaining a high quality of sourcing is central to our mission. This section, though, is demanding sanctions, which means that the person who filed it is saying they think that this was an extremely serious problem - at which point the fact that they failed to put in that work for something they say is so vital clearly undermines their argument. --Aquillion (talk) 09:28, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Considering The Sun has put out a newspaper every day since they started, that's a lot of content, I don't understand why people are surprised that The Sun has been used as a citation considering the huge volume of information you can cite from them. Govvy (talk) 10:51, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
It sounds to me like you're essentially trying to re-litigate the depreciation RFC with this comment. The whole point of depreciation is that they publish false or misleading material and, therefore, there is not a significant volume of information that can be cited to them; the fact that they have printed a large amount of text is meaningless when the fact-checking and accuracy behind that text was inadequate in a way that fails to pass the standards set by WP:V. If you disagree with that, then your problem is not with David Gerard or the way he went about removing this source, but with a basic unwillingness to accept the outcome of the RFC that depreciated it. --Aquillion (talk) 09:28, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
It sounds to me like you are confusing blacklisting and deprecation. Feel free to prove me wrong. Walter Görlitz (talk) 16:30, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  1. WP:RS says: Wikipedia articles should be based on reliable, published sources.
  2. WP:RS is a guideline, but it's included by explicit reference in the first sentence of WP:V, which is policy: On Wikipedia, verifiability means other people using the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source. The words "reliable source" link further down the page to #What_counts_as_a_reliable_source, which is headed with Further information: Wikipedia:Reliable sources.
  3. Verifiability - which is policy - requires the use of reliable sources. Deprecated sources are those that have been found, by strong consensus, to be generally unreliable. The deprecation RFC for the Sun says: the Sun is designated as a generally-unreliable publication. References from the Sun shall be actively discouraged from being used in any article.
  4. WP:BURDEN - which is policy - states: Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source.
Thus: removing links to the Sun is almost always the correct thing to do, as it is a source that has been found generally unreliable. It is not mandatory - but it is almost always correct.
WP:BURDEN - which is policy - also states: The burden to demonstrate verifiability lies with the editor who adds or restores material. So the burden of proof for addition or restoration of deprecated sources is entirely on the person doing so, and not on the person removing the deprecated sources.
I hope this adequately answers your well-meaning defenses of The Sun in recent edit summaries - David Gerard (talk) 18:31, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
No, it does not, because many of the facts are not controversial and that was the consensus.
Also, as they are not blacklisted sources, there's no urgency to remove the existing instances. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:51, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
The policy says Any material lacking a reliable source directly supporting it may be removed and should not be restored without an inline citation to a reliable source. I don't see the word "controversial" in there.
The RFC includes the string "controversial" once, and that's in the course of noting that almost anything worth including in an article that's cited to the Sun can be replaced by a reliable source. Where are you getting your claim that many of the facts are not controversial and that was the consensus from? That's not in the RFC conclusion.
The RFC - a strong general consensus - says the Sun is "actively discouraged". That doesn't mention "controversial" as a requirement.
None of that mentions "urgency", but it doesn't have to - you're throwing in a red herring.
Removing Sun links, one at a time by hand, as I'm doing, is supported by WP:V (policy), WP:RS (guideline with strong consensus) and the Sun RFC (strong consensus). You're failing to refute this at all.
Re-adding links to The Sun without an incredibly good reason is a violation of WP:BURDEN - David Gerard (talk) 19:23, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
The general consensus of the RfC—and of the editors who keep complaining about your edits—is that it is not a problem for information that is not controversial. I appreciate that you're finding sources now, but it's not necessary to have a search-and-destroy mentality at this point. I'm sorry you think I'm failing to refute your points, but you are not reading consensus correctly. Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:42, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
As for my "fixes" of your additions, you recognize I'm only expanding the WP:BAREURLS that you're adding, right? Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:45, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Thank you! Unfortunately, neither Citation Bot nor Refill2 are working for me. I filed a bug with the former.
If you can quote the words in the RFC that you think support that that it is not a problem for information that is not controversial, please do - because I'm really pretty sure its conclusion absolutely doesn't, and says - without qualification other than WP:ABOUTSELF - that its use it is actively discouraged. But if you can quote the actual words from the RFC that you think support your claims, as I have done to support my claims, please do so - David Gerard (talk) 19:48, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I'll let you find the words and read what others have written here.
They've both been broken for me as well. I've seen several bug entries. I've been using WebRef. More listed at Help:Citation tools. I don't mind fixing bare refs when you add them. I agree that RSes are better than deprecated sources, but also think replacing them should only be happening when they're blacklisted. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:00, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I'll let you find the words and read what others have written here. This seems to indicate you have no policy or guideline backing for your opinions. Which is fine, but does nothing to counter the basis in policy, guidelines incorporated by reference into that policy, and the strong consensus of a general RFC, of my actions. So your objection seems to be WP:IDONTLIKEIT - David Gerard (talk) 20:06, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Was it the general consensus of the RFC. I seem to recall it was more or less its pretty crap for all but stuff we can get form elsewhere anyway.Slatersteven (talk) 10:30, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
You may not see anything wrong with the article - and indeed there may be nothing wrong with it - but RS generally treat the source as problematic, and so should we. Put differently: per policy, RS' judgment overrides ours. François Robere (talk) 11:08, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Using The Sun for biographical details in Hillsong ChurchEdit

Walter Görlitz insists The Sun is a better source than a {{cn}} for a claim on BLP material concerning Brian Houston (pastor), and has edit-warred it back in - even acknowledging that the deprecated source is the only source for the claim - and said "Take it to RSN".[56][57] So here we are. I'd think it was obvious that we can't use a deprecated source for straight-up BLP material. Opinions? - David Gerard (talk) 17:35, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

@David Gerard: I see you ignored the addition I made in the Why Wikipedia Is Much More Effective Than Facebook at Fighting Fake News section above. Take a look and respond there instead as you're misrepresenting the point. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:55, 14 January 2020 (UTC)

Not an RS for BLP.Slatersteven (talk) 17:39, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Then remove that claim altogether. In my humble POV, garbage source is always better than CN tag, so one knows from where some (dis)information comes from. Pavlor (talk) 17:49, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
The problem is they may not be aware it is a garbage source so may take it as fact.Slatersteven (talk) 17:51, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
yep - little blue numbers that go to a deprecated source deceive the reader into thinking the claim is sourced, and that the source is better than no source - and deprecated sources are worse than no source - David Gerard (talk) 18:03, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
There is even a tactic called wp:overcite which partially relies on this, the idea if its sourced it must be OK.Slatersteven (talk) 18:07, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
So, your solution is simply to leave an unsourced BLP claim in the article? You could tag that source as unreliable (for now), attempt to find a better source, or request replacement on the article talk page. Pavlor (talk) 20:24, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Assuming the source had been in the article well before the Sun was marked as deprecated, and the claim itself seems not overtly controversial (which " It was founded in 1983 inside a warehouse as Hills Christian Life Centre by former window cleaner Brian Houston and his wife Bobbie Houston." seems to be, without touching a Google search), then it is reasonable to keep the deprecated source , tagging it as such, while a replacement source can be located. That said, a quick google search brings up, at least this, thought probably not the best source given its talking about criminal issues. --Masem (t) 18:30, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Obviously it's not just me being wound up the wrong way, seems David is has annoyed Walter now, I still think he needs to step away from screwing around with citations from The Sun for a bit. Govvy (talk) 19:00, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Not really annoyed. I saw the discussion above and recognize that not everyone is onside with deprecated equalling unusable and "remove on-sight". We should not have a search-and-destroy mentality. It is not blacklisted. So yes, stepping back would not be inappropriate. Walter Görlitz (talk) 19:07, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Given it takes about 10 seconds to find an alternative source for the information, it should really be replaced at the same time as it is deprecated. But I also have to ask, how the heck did The Sun end up being the source used in the first case? [58][59][60][61][62] Koncorde (talk) 19:26, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
5-6 years ago, we collectively as editors didn't question Daily MAil, the Sun, etc, and likely used these sources without question. With the wave of fake news and other misinformation in the wake of the 2016 global politics , we became much more cognizant of issues with these works, and over the last 1-2 years have deprecated them. It just takes time to humanly check each use for a replacement or alternate solution. --Masem (t) 19:29, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Not helped by the "why bother" attitude some display.Slatersteven (talk) 19:31, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't buy the "didn't question the Daily Mail and The Sun", there would have been dozens of results for this search originally. And if actively undertaking removal where it is the only source it's just courtesy to make a search to see if the information in question is already out there otherwise (which, given The Sun rarely goes beyond basic internet searching for info, usually cribbing from other newspaper print, it will be). Koncorde (talk) 19:47, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
I share a similar, general concern to Walter. I don't specifically have an opinion on The Sun but I think people have gone a bit crazy with deprecation and removal. One example I can think of was a fact about a shotgun (production numbers I think). It was a non-controversial claim about the manufacture having produced X number of a given model. The fact clearly came from a press release and in the article was sourced to The Daily Caller (I think). Recently that bit was removed, not just tagged as CN but removed. It's not a huge thing as the production numbers of a specific model shotgun aren't earth shattering. However, for someone looking at the article that might have been an interesting fact. Even if we were OK sourcing the fact to the mfr's statements, DUE shouldn't be established based on their statement alone. Initially that wasn't a problem because The Daily Caller's reporting of the fact addressed DUE. I know some will argue that if it was important someone else would also report it. But that's not always true. When dealing with articles that get a lot of press it certainly is true. However, one of the great things about Wikipedia is the huge number of articles on lesser topics where sourcing is going to be more limited. Even if The Daily Caller isn't overly reliable, if they get a lot of readers that suggests the content is probably, generally something of interest. Why would I assume something reported in an esoteric academic book is more DUE than something reported by a source with a large readership? I'm not claiming the academic source is less accurate, just that we shouldn't be so quick to dismiss coverage in a deprecated source as irrelevant for establishing WEIGHT. I feel the way we need to handle claims in deprecated sources is treat them with great suspicion. But if those editors think their national database of readers will care, I would assume it has every bit as much weight as say a reliable local paper with very limited readership. Sorry this is a bit long an rambling but again this is a concern of mine with regards to how we seem to be on a deprecation kick and editors are often not applying some level of common sense as to what might make for a better article. TLDR/ if the claim isn't controversial and the topic is one that will generally have limited coverage (special interest, small scope topic, etc) then removal of a deprecated source needs both justification and the removing editor should show that they tried to replace the source rather than erase the fact. Springee (talk) 21:29, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
Your proposed requirement for a given action on removal of a reference to The Sun is incorrect per WP:RS, WP:V and the Sun deprecation RFC - see section above - David Gerard (talk) 18:36, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm not saying that the sort of actions you are taking are not within the policies you cite. I'm also not speaking to any examples involving The Sun in particular. I'm suggesting that what we have is a situation that makes for a lesser article in the end. Think of it as complying with the WP:IAR policy. I'm arguing that we should probably reconsider actions taken when a source is deprecated and not be as dogmatic about removal. Springee (talk) 19:58, 16 January 2020 (UTC) reads What does "actively discouraged" mean to you David? Does it mean waste everyone's time removing and finding new references? Do you see editors who actively oppose that stance now (WP:CONSENSUS)? Finally, I see one section addressing your behaviour: "There has been a feeling among the opposing side that this can lead to a draconian purge of Sun references from WP without due discretion and that the newbies will bear the brunt of any over-zealous enforcement.
"Hence, I will urge all editors to exercise due restrain and use common sense; whilst dealing with removals. For an example, please harvest some efforts to source a cited-info to a reliable source, prior to removal of a DM cite."
So would you like to WP:IGNORE the rule of CONSENSUS or shall I w.r.t. RS? Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:22, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
You will have seen that I frequently do indeed seek out replacements, as seems appropriate with due editorial consideration! So I assume you're completely satisfied now - David Gerard (talk) 20:27, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
You have been doing so recently, yes. Thanks. Walter Görlitz (talk) 20:30, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
and that sections conclusion "Hence, I will urge all editors to exercise due restrain and use common sense; whilst dealing with removals. For an example, please harvest some efforts to source a cited-info to a reliable source, prior to removal of a DM cite." So no it does not say do not remove them, it says make efforts to replace then if you can.Slatersteven (talk) 10:36, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
One interesting issue with The Sun is that they changed their website layout a few years ago - so there's a vast number of Sun references that were dead links, any URL with /sol/ in it. The claims are literally unsourced already. Only some of this content was ported over to the new site - but I'm certainly not going to lift a finger to find a replacement Sun link to insert, and in any case doing so would fail WP:BURDEN. Replacing with a {{cn}} is literally not changing anything, just stopping us pretending to have a cite when we don't.
In my now-considerable experience of the sort of claims The Sun is actually used to cite on Wikipedia, such links generally warrant a {{cn}} at best, or removal of the claim. References to The Sun are generally:
  1. redundant to existing cites
  2. citing quirky and eye-catching information that can't be verified anywhere else, probably because The Sun made it up
  3. tabloid gossip about BLP material, which will usually warrant straight-up removal under WP:BLP, or a {{cn}} if it looks uncontroversial
  4. early-life BLP claims that can't be verified in an RS - same treatment
  5. Past WP:CRYSTAL, often failed, about pop stars, TV stars or soap operas - remove
  6. Sun-only-sourced inflammatory stories about ethnic minorities, which should generally just be removed
  7. football scores, which are almost universally replaceable.
The Daily Mail is much the same, with an extra line in unusually-contrived sports statistics, which in science would be called "p-hacking".
You would probably believe how defensive Sun defenders get - including the one who edit-warred back in controversial BLP claims that were sourced to literally a dead link, and loudly asserted that The Sun was a top-notch source for the subject because it was about sport therefore was wrong to remove. Quite a lot of the people objecting recently to my Sun removals are objecting, and sometimes revert-warring, over "cites" that don't work at all. Editors who aggressively defend The Sun are, IME, loud roughly in proportion to their misunderstanding of WP:V and WP:RS - David Gerard (talk) 18:27, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
Masem, and there are in some cases thousands of them, and people who will bitch and moan when they are removed even when used as sources for contentious items. Guy (help!) 21:36, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

cars.comEdit     bills itself as a leading digital marketplace and solutions provider for the automotive industry that connects car shoppers with sellers. No editorial policy that I can see. I'm not sure what credentials the staff have. They seem to be employed in the industry in various roles, but is that enough? Just curious. This is spawned by the insistence to use it as a bare ref here. Walter Görlitz (talk) 08:32, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Seems many websites make most of their money from advertising. Your arguments suggest excluding advertising websites which are some of the largest and commonly referenced. Youtube comes to mind and all news sites. Should we exclude CNN because their content serves as content marking for ads? Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 04:03, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable for facts. Clearly they have an interest in selling cars; however,
  • an article like this shows they allow differing opinions, with 3 reviewers sometimes agreeing, but sometimes disagreeing.
  • They gave reasonable anti-fraud advice including "Avoid car listings that are too good to be true" with more details.
  • While it's possible their "expert" reviews could be biased by advertising, I found no accusations of that, and the reviews are sometimes critical. On the other hand, most are written by one author, Brian Wong.
  • Anecdotal, but... For cars I'm familiar with, their reviews were accurate.
  • They give a policy on adverts and say they adhere to "self-regulatory principles."
  • Lastly, Jenni seems to give good advice. -- Yae4 (talk) 09:58, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
    The "Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising" refer to AdChoices, which means that gives its readers a way to opt-out of some types of cookie-based targeted advertising. It doesn't refer to the blog's content. — Newslinger talk 10:32, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Re: Editorial policy: They have an "Editor in Chief," and the introduction article states, "’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments." -- Yae4 (talk) 10:42, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
CoinDesk claims the same. "Since being acquired by DCG in January 2016, CoinDesk has operated independently from the parent company. We work in separate offices and maintain strict policies on editorial independence and transparency, described below." While my position in the CoinDesk RfC was different than the result of the RfC, I think all sources should be treated with a consistent set of standards. is less credible than CoinDesk, in my view, as they sell the products they write about on the same website. The phrase "apparent conflict of interest" is a key factor quoted from the policy on questionable sources. — Newslinger talk 10:52, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Consistency has its place, but does not actually sell the products, if I understand correctly. They connect buyers with sellers, like Ebay etc. Also, it's much easier for people to find other sources to cross check info' about cars. Maybe the absence of auto-related publications on WP:RSN is because most people have much better understanding of cars than bitcoin, and don't usually have disputes about things like MPG, top speed, or other facts that can be independently checked.
Not sure how we missed the list of 18 people on the editorial staff (about page, people, editorial), and if you click each person, it gives info on their backgrounds. -- Yae4 (talk) 12:01, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
I don't see this as any more of a conflict than just about every automotive publication running ads for cars. Toasted Meter (talk) 13:10, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
The difference is that the main product of traditional automotive publications is the content itself. Magazine subscribers directly pay for the content. Online readers fund the publication's website with ad views and clicks. On the other hand, is first and foremost a site that aims to sell products to its users. It doesn't matter whether they hold any of the inventory themselves; they are primarily a classified ads site, and the blog is a secondary part of the site that exists solely to channel traffic to the classified ads. The objectives of content marketing blogs are completely different from the objectives of publications that sell their content as their actual product: content marketing is functionally equivalent to advertising, and is not the product itself.

While having an editorial team means that is not a self-published source, that alone does not make it reliable. For comparison, The Canary also has an editoral team, but was poorly received due to its bias. Also, CoinDesk is not the only example of a source that was criticized for its conflict of interest. A 2019 RfC determined that The Points Guy (RSP entry) should be avoided for information related to credit cards, because its core business consists of selling credit cards to its readers. Product review sites that are funded by commissions, including various VPN comparison sites (example 1, example 2), are treated the same way. The blog and other content marketing sites are generally unreliable because they have an "apparent conflict of interest" that is not counterbalanced by a strong reputation. Reviews on the site should also not be used to determine notability, since content marketers tend to cover as many related topics as possible to drive more traffic to the site. — Newslinger talk 23:36, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Re: "The difference is that the main product of traditional automotive publications is the content itself. Magazine subscribers directly pay for the content." Really? An examination of assumptions may be useful - maybe look at a couple paper publications still in print, and see how many ads they have. While traditional subscribers do pay, advertising has almost always been a major revenue source for most publications, with some exceptions, like Consumer Reports. The advertising-free list is longer than I expected, but still a small percentage of magazines. Some excerpts (including newspapers) supporting my point: "It was clear that the traditional newspaper business model, which relied heavily upon advertisements, was no longer going to garner much revenue." [63] "Despite the industry’s struggles, magazines remain an important platform for many advertisers. Consumer magazine advertising spending will reach an estimated 15.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2019, placing it in a similar bracket to ad spending for the radio and newspaper industries." [64] "Typically, the higher the circulation figures, the more advertising costs, but you may decide it’s worth it due to high circulation figures." [65] Decline_of_newspapers#Crisis may be worth a look too. -- Yae4 (talk) 04:50, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, print publications tend to make more money from ads than from subscriptions, and my wording should have been clearer. As print publications die off and more Internet users adopt ad blockers, I do expect publishers to seek other sources of revenue than traditional advertising (newspaper and digital display ads). My argument is that lower levels of trust should be assigned to publications for which the line between journalism and promotion is more blurred. The decline of journalism is a real dilemma for media outlets; Wikipedia needs to adapt appropriately, but at the same time, it's not Wikipedia's problem to solve. — Newslinger talk 07:01, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Unfortunately for Wikipedia with current methods/rules, determining if a site is "reliable" or has a "strong reputation" for accuracy becomes a popularity contest, without objective grading of sites. Those (who want to be in Wikipedia) with the best PR departments and connections with previously named "reliable" sources get included most, if wiki editors take interest and also support them. Back to the topic at hand, I cannot believe we're wasting so much time discussing a source for a non-contentious fact - Hyundai Palisade has lane centering tech. A duck duck go news search for "Hyundai Palisade lane centering" gives plenty of sources, and the three I looked at all had syndicated advertising. So, there is little difference, and this is really just to mediate a ... contest between editors. The real question there is whether to include 1 or 2 sources for each factoid, as seen at the Talk:Lane_centering talk page. -- Yae4 (talk) 12:51, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
If sources without blatant conflicts of interest make the same claims, then those sources should be cited and not the content marketing blog. To take an extreme example, InfoWars (RSP entry) published "U.S. Virgin Islands Sue Epstein Estate, Claims Trafficked Children as Young As 11" (, which appears to be reasonably accurate and corroborated by reliable sources, e.g. The Wall Street Journal (RSP entry). But, that doesn't make the InfoWars article an acceptable citation, since InfoWars as a whole is questionable, and better sources are available. A source doesn't need a public relations department to avoid conflicts of interest. — Newslinger talk 07:28, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

(Unindenting) Almost all sites are marketing content sites (or blogs), but some are more marketing-infested than others. A possible objective criteria for rating amounts of advertising could be the number of sites supplying JavaScript, and the number of tracker sites involved, as these can be counted with NoScript and EFF Privacy Badger add-ons. The following results were seen for an arbitrary selection of site home pages, both on and off the RSPS list. By this objective measure, several sites on RSPS put heavier emphasis on advertising than a site like Liliputing, which was called "Advert-infested clickbait." [66] These include ArsTechnica, CNN, Forbes, USA Today, and Verge. Based on this, it appears, while certainly another "advert-infested clickbait" site, is being unfairly criticized in this regard.

NoScript, EFF Privacy Badger, site:
32, 17 #
15, 11
22, 21 *#
2, 0 *
7, 4
9, 4
28, 21 #
8, 4
18, 2 *
23, 12 @
11, 9 *
2, 1
17, 18 *#
9, 4 *
15, 11
31, 27 #
19, 11 @
16, 7
43, 44 #
19, 14 *@
14, 6
* Not currently on RSPS list.
# hit or exceed 17 AND 18 limits (arbitrary from liliputing score, which had other problems, e.g. lack of editorial oversight).
@ hit or exceed 17 OR 18 limits.
There seems to be a glitch in NoScript counts; manual counts from the pull-down are higher, sometimes by large amounts, compared with the "mouse over" summary score, not sure why.

FWIW, From Duck Duck Go news search, there are several alternative sources for the topic. Page scores are shown below. These compare with 18, 19 for the source page. By this measure, the source page is less "advert-infested clickbait" than the RSPS-listed Forbes alternative, as well as two other non-listed alternatives. [67] (Page score: 31, 15) [68] (Page score: 25, 18) [69] (Page score: 23, 15). The other current source for the topic scored "only" 13, 9, which is good compared with most others. [70] -- Yae4 (talk) 15:58, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

That's an interesting analysis, but I think it misses my point. I did not call "Advert-infested clickbait"; I said that has an "apparent conflict of interest", which is a criterion listed in the policy on questionable sources. Regarding advertising, I rarely see any display ads online because I use uBlock Origin, which blocks ads and trackers in my web browser. Display ads are sufficiently pervasive that they are not considered conflicts of interest, and online ad exchanges use a dynamic bidding model that makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for journalists to predict the ads that will be shown alongside their writing. Display ads also change constantly. Citations in Wikipedia articles refer to the content of the cited websites, and not the extraneous site elements (such as the ads). Most concerns regarding reliability are also based on the content of cited sources – the material that ad blockers are not able to hide. While independent publications live and die by the quality of their content, sells cars, and its content is just a promotional device for its car listings.'s business as a classified ad site benefits the most when it publishes content that convinces the reader to buy cars on its site. has no business incentive to write articles that do anything else, and that's what separates content marketing from actual content. — Newslinger talk 01:42, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

One more thing: please note that articles by Forbes staff (RSP entry) are considered generally reliable, while articles by contributors (RSP entry) are considered generally unreliable. I suspect that contributors would be deprecated if didn't make it so difficult to identify contributor articles through their URLs. — Newslinger talk 01:47, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Guy called Liliputing "Advert-infested clickbait" (seen if you followed the link given, and text-searched), which seems like a concise way of summarizing concern over interest in accurate content versus conflicted interest in ads and affiliate referral or sales income. If reviews were never critical, then I'd agree, but they are critical sometimes, and I saw no particular bias in their reviews, based on comparison with my experiences (for one particular model they were correctly critical of). They don't seem any different than most other car publications in the need or desire to push car sales. If you could point to any factual errors or pushing particular cars or models that indicate a conflict of interest, that would be good (and a focus on content).
If one lets them, display ads would be "perfectly" targeted to each reader's interests and needs, and would guide them to the "right" choices and purchases... I don't use an ad blocker because it seems wrong to block first party ads when looking at a site, unless they use "excessive" bandwidth. Blocking JavaScript and trackers does block most ads though. :)
Blacklisting whole sites for having "wrong" editorial positions makes life much easier for editors who are "right," but I think it's a mistake, and is being used to suppress and bias information in general at wikipedia. Not because of facts, but because of conclusions and opinions reached from the facts. -- Yae4 (talk) 13:01, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

I don't think has any great depth in the articles I've read but I've also never found any great flaws. I would treat them as a lower level reliable source. Perfectly fine for basic, statements of fact, descriptions of automotive systems etc. I would be concern about using them for more controversial claims. Springee (talk) 14:14, 15 January 2020 (UTC)
Not an RS for facts, as it sells stuff. Maybe an RS for what they think but not sure why they would be relevant.Slatersteven (talk) 12:57, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Unreliable and unnecessary anyway I think. Most of its content appears to be either random opinion, PR / sales, or well documented in better sources. Guy (help!) 13:49, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
That is not what I'm seeing. Do you have an example? Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 04:05, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable for basic facts, no evidence of unreliabilty of the factual information, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 19:05, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable There is nothing controversial being stated. In the given example matches what dozens of other sources state. Daniel.Cardenas (talk) 19:43, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable for the citation shown. Information matches what can be found elsewhere and seems to corroborate what that source says. --Jayron32 18:53, 17 January 2020 (UTC)


Would Playmakerstats be a RS for association football articles? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 15:47, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Any thoughts? The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 19:19, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Stil waiting. The C of E God Save the Queen! (talk) 16:09, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • You need to give more details about the site and what it is being used for in referencing, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 16:26, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Hi, in their favour they do have a corrections page but I haven't found an about us page there yet. They are not included at Wikipedia:WikiProject Football/Links where reliable football sources are listed but any of the links there would be acceptable. In view of this Ive left a question about it at the WikiProject Football talkpage, regards Atlantic306 (talk) 18:11, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • The feedback from WikiProject Football is that it is not a reliable source, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 18:24, 18 January 2020 (UTC)


I do not believe Blender magazine is a reliable source of information, as the magazine's "50 Worst Songs Ever" and "50 Most Awesomely Bad Songs...Ever" lists are incredibly biased and comes solely from one viewpoint. It is not even factual as others claim. In addition, the supposed criteria of the former list of "all songs had to have been hits at one point" leaves actually bad songs unnoticed and the "no novelty songs" rule is a lie as "Cotton Eye Joe" by Rednex is listed in the former. Therefore, all uses of it as a source must be wiped. (talk) 20:38, 15 January 2020 (UTC)

Looks like OK magazine to me. Are there any reliable sources disputing its reliability? Even one viewpoint may be due - with proper attribution. Pavlor (talk) 06:41, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable - it was a professional print magazine with editorial oversight, policies, and professional journalists. There’s a consensus for it being reliable at WP:RSMUSIC. We don’t deem entire publications unusable just because someone disagrees with some of its entries on a list they wrote on an opinion piece either. Sergecross73 msg me 11:51, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Reliable with attribution, it is after all only their opinion.Slatersteven (talk) 12:58, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Sufficiently noteworthy source for attributed opinions on music, per WP:RSMUSIC - this is not a "reliability" question at all, because we're talking about an attributed opinion piece, not a factual claim. Is Blender sufficiently notable as a source of critical opinions to note its reviews, and even its "worst/best" lists? Sure. Does it have problems that mean we shouldn't do that? No - David Gerard (talk) 13:37, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Usable (rather than reliable, per David Gerard). Lists such as those are biased by definition, and while they'd hardly be any magazine editor's finest hour, they are part of the publication's content and, by implication, subject to the same editorial oversight given to less controversial pieces. If by saying they originate "solely from one viewpoint" you mean they are the opinions of a sole contributor, that would be different – who is the contributor? are they an established music critic? I'd say the "only hits" and "no novelty songs" criteria you mention should definitely be outlined when Blender's lists are cited at, say, List of music considered the worst. There was no end of discussion at the talk page there over the last year (most of it archived), so I'm interested to hear that these Blender lists carry a qualification or two. In contrast to retrospective appraisals of books, films and classical or jazz music, imo, pop/rock criticism quite deliberately seeks to shoot down a previous generation's idea of what is "best" or "worst", so – again, almost by definition – there is a heavy bias and editors are not likely to include works that leave their readers thinking too hard. JG66 (talk) 14:09, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable as per discussions at WP:Albums, has editorial oversight. These sort of lists are published in most magazines on popular culture and it's a question of due weight whether they are mentioned in articles - personally I believe they should only be mentioned if the work concerned tops the list, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 18:57, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Usable as there is editorial oversight + it has a reputation for fact-checking. Why is this even a discussion? SolarFlashLet's talk about it 03:00, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable. Music criticism is always an opinion and tends to be biased. Just because you don't like the list doesn't make it unreliable. Bluesatellite (talk) 01:32, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

New Leaf Publishing Group (publisher)Edit

Are books published by New Leaf Publishing (or New Leaf Publishing Group) considered self-published? I didn't find much information about it, although it appears to be focused on religion. Can books published through it on seemingly other topics be used as sources like at Interdimensional hypothesis (unless I'm mistaken, this book attempts to cover UFOs using Biblical interpretations)? Lastly, I'm not sure if this is a correct association, but I've seen reference to "Master Books" in the description of one book published under it, would this really be Institute for Creation Research's, where Master Books redirects? These books are currently found as sources or in "further reading" for various articles (insource search for "new leaf publishing", insource search for "master books"). Thanks, —PaleoNeonate – 11:32, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

I started to remove some, will continue as time permits. In some cases books are authored by school teachers for a young audience, in other cases no particular information about the author is available. The book descriptions and reviews on Google Books often also reveal their creationist teaching. My impression is that these are not reliable for anything other than about the author's opinions (that may be WP:DUE for a particular topic if relevant and the author notable or expert in the field, with no better source available, with attribution)... —PaleoNeonate – 05:44, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Search on "New Leaf Publishing" yielded JSTOR 27784051, JSTOR 44114464 etc. and two Creationist books turned up: de Young et al, and Lisle, both published by "Master Books" as an imprint of the "New Leaf Publishing Group".
Don't think the WP:SELFPUB is the caveat that applies, even if the publisher only or primarily published works by this Institute. I think the problem is WP:FRINGE, that it is willing to publish ideas as legitimate even though they stray from academic mainstream consensus.
I suppose if Gary Bates is and all the rest were of nepotistic relation to the publisher family, SELFPUB may apply but I doubt that is the case. Dr. Jason Lisle is apparently a Ph.D. in astrophysics,[71][72], but I digress.
The source PaleoNeonate deleted in the article is Gary Bates, who believes alien visitors are actually demons.[73] --Kiyoweap (talk) 00:33, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes the quality of the books vary, with some promoting pseudoscience and evolution-denial and others only including Biblical reading encouragements and emphasizing that some scientists were Christian, etc. Exploring the world of mathematics contained evolution-denial despite being a decent introductory maths book (pp. 4, 98, 147), Exploring the world of physics (related talk page thread) seems like one of the better quality books, but still included flawed claims like scientific foreknowledge in Genesis. Better sources are fortunately easily found on the topic though, that are not disguised propaganda. —PaleoNeonate – 03:55, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Gatehouse GazetteerEdit

Last time there was no obvious agreement on whether this self-published site counts as a WP:RS. Richard Nevell said he would come up with some information showing the author to be an expert sufficient to at least allow attributed use, though most of the links are decorative ("External Links" not sources). Is it valid as a source, rather than an external link (which is a separate matter)? Guy (help!) 13:47, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

On the Gatehouse Gazetteer's position as a reliable source:

Is a peer-reviewed book by a recognized expert a RS?Edit

Obviously a reliable source. Issues of weight et al can be discussed elsewhere. WBGconverse 16:09, 18 January 2020 (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.

In one of our many non-fun discussions over at the Media coverage of Bernie Sanders page, the following book has been removed from the article because the editor SashiRolls insists that the book has a partisan POV and disputes whether it's been authored by a recognized expert: Colleen Elizabeth Kelley's 2018 book A Rhetoric of Divisive Partisanship: The 2016 American Presidential Campaign Discourse of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump (Lexington Books). The author is an an Associate Professor of Communication studies at Penn State and wrote a peer-reviewed book about the 2016 election. The book specifically includes content that evaluates whether there was media bias against Sanders in the 2016 election, with the author concluding that there was media bias in one sense but not in another. Additionally, this is one of very few peer-reviewed publications on the Media coverage of Bernie Sanders page, which is full of borderline RS, op-eds and low-quality content (content that the same editor has on multiple occasions edit-warred back into the article), which should make this particular source very valuable. Can I please get confirmation that this peer-reviewed publication by a recognized expert is a RS and should be included? Also, this is a plea for help to get more eyes on the Media coverage of Bernie Sanders page, and more participation on the talk page, where so so so much time goes into trying to settle pointless matters such as whether peer-reviewed studies can be added to the article (and it's primarily one editor who is editing in a way that necessitates these pointless discussions). Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:04, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

This is not an NPOV presentation of the discussion. The discussion is about whether the book should be used to add more sentences saying exactly the same thing as has been previously said on the page, rather than looking for something unique in the book that could make the wikipedia entry better rather than just longer. Providing a link to the repetitive matter and to the TP discussion I opened for discussion of the challenged material. The haste to multiply venues is interesting. 🌿 SashiRolls t · c 17:08, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
This is the content in question[74] – she's using existing data and evaluating its implications for media bias in the 2016 election: "In her book, Colleen Elizabeth Kelly cited the Shorenstein Center report to say that Sanders and Clinton got a share of news coverage similar to their eventual primary results, until Clinton pulled ahead in the primary. Kelly writes that Sanders was both right and wrong to complain about media bias. Right, because the media was too little interested in the Democratic primary to give him the coverage he needed early, and wrong, because, on average, Sanders's coverage, though initially scant, was more often positive than any other candidate's coverage prior to voting." You have on multiple occasions stated that this is a partisan source and have disputed that she's a recognized expert (your last comment literally suggested that she was not a recognized expert because this was "apparently her first" book[75]). I've brought this to the RS noticeboard, because mentally I'm fed up with trying alone to engage with you in discussion while you edit-war, violate Wikipedia policy, argue over the most uncontroversial content, and cast aspersions (most recently, insulting me as "unemployed or underemployed"[76]). Snooganssnoogans (talk) 17:16, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
FWIW: here is the only page of the bibliography of her short monograph that one can see without buying the book. I see Blue Nation Review cited twice on that page. 🌿 SashiRolls t · c 19:00, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Is there a debate/disagreement on whether or a particular source meets the requirements of a wp:RS? This relates (only) to satisfying wp:ver and (unfortunately) does not include a non-bias requirement or consideration. IMHO there can still be editor discussions on other matters where bias of the source can be discussed and relevant.North8000 (talk) 17:44, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

  • In this situation, the book is being cited as a PRIMARY source for “In her book, Kelly says XYZ”. The fact being verified is that Kelly did indeed say XYZ. Used in this way, it is reliable (a book is, in fact, the single MOST reliable source for a statement about that book’s contents).
That said... the question that needs to be asked should not be whether the book is reliable, but whether the book should be highlighted in the way it is... by being mentioned in text. THAT is not a reliability issue, but one of DUE vs UNDUE weight. Are Kelly’s findings important enough to single out for mention, and if so HOW should that mention be worded. This is not the venue to discuss those questions, but those are the questions that need to be addressed. Blueboar (talk) 19:39, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Agree with Blueboar's assessment. The book is being used as a source for an attributed opinion, presumably expert opinion. That establishes WP:V from a WP:RS. It doesn't address WEIGHT. Springee (talk) 20:01, 16 January 2020 (UTC)
Also agree, its an RS, all other issues are for another venue.Slatersteven (talk) 10:27, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Use of iffy birth certificate for date of birthEdit

Heather O'Rourke was a child actress who died 30 some years ago. The reference for her date of birth is a PDF of her birth and death certificates from a site called I would not call it a reliable site (although there are about 60 uses of it on Wikipedia as a source). I have read WP:PRIMARY and WP:BLPPRIMARY and I am sure we would not use this reference for a living person. Given that Heather O'Rourke is long dead, is this an acceptable source? Bitter Oil (talk) 20:21, 16 January 2020 (UTC)

Per the look, name and closest I found to an about-page [77][78], I would not use this as a source for anything. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:10, 17 January 2020 (UTC) has same information but is also not recommended for us for the same reasons, largely user generated information (even if they try to audit it). A search online doesn't bring up any other source, most from '88 don't even mention her year of birth only her age. Koncorde (talk) 10:34, 17 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm an idiot. I looked at the Find A Grave link and recognized the plaque bcause we have a picture of it in the article. It has her birth date on it! That takes care of this article at least. Bitter Oil (talk) 17:42, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Population estimatesEdit

Hello everyone. Indian media keeps on carelessly giving estimations of various Indian caste, communities, etc. on regular basis, although there hasn't been a census for those details since 1931. Are those non-scholarly estimations preferred over scholarly estimations from the experts of the field? Coming to the point, on one hand, we have a scholarly source which estimates Jat population to be 30 million in South Asia (in 2010). On the other hand, we have an article from a newspaper – which has mirrored WP before – estimating them to be 82.5 million in 2012 in India alone. Anyway please provide inputs at Talk:Jat people#Jat population in India. Thanks. - NitinMlk (talk) 20:40, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

Nah. I would be even wary of scholarly sources w/o getting clarity on how they arrived at their figures. WBGconverse 16:08, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Thanks, WBG. On a different note, you had draftified grandpa's article, which has now become grandson's draft. :) I guess it needs to be moved back without leaving a redirect. - NitinMlk (talk) 20:03, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

RfC: KenRockwell.comEdit

Is a reliable source for statements about photographic equipment? Qono (talk) 02:12, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Used as a source in many articles on photography equipment, is self-published and has no editorial oversight. As far as I can tell, the author has not written any books on photographic equipment. As quoted in the previous listing, the text that used to be on the about page is telling:

Read this site at your own risk. I make a lot of mistakes. I have no proof-reader and there are plenty of pages, like this one, which have been around since the 1990s and may no longer apply or be correct. I'm just one guy. No mater how stupid something may be, if I don't catch it, it gets out there anyway and stays wrong for years until someone points it out. I can't track everything; I've written thousand of pages and write a few more every day.

Here is a link to a previous posting on this source, though no discussion was generated.

I want to discuss the source broadly, but here is a representative example:

  • Source: [79]
  • Article: Nikon F-mount
  • Content: "E Lenses with manual aperture control like PC-E lenses allow manual diaphragm operation on all cameras, with possible unreliable metering on DSLRs without E-type support."

Thanks! Qono (talk) 02:12, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Qono, not a reliable source. Should be treated as a blog. Why the RfC is needed here? DBigXray 03:49, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
DBigXray, thanks for your response. I am unclear if RfC's are meant for disputes only. I've started a conversation on the RfC talk page and would welcome your input there. Qono (talk) 00:06, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Question Do we have evidence of other reliable photography sources citing KenRockwell's blog? This might be sufficient to establish Rockwell as a subject mater expert. From there you may be able to argue this is an expert opinion that can be used with attribution. I think Rockwell's site is a good resource and one I've consulted when buying a camera. However, it's clearly a personal blog per Wikipedia's standards thus the only way for it to be considered usable, other than for ABOUTSELF, is to establish some level of expertise acknowledged by other sources. Springee (talk) 14:28, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    The eligibility requirement is a little bit different than that. According to WP:SPS, Rockwell's "work in the relevant field" must have "previously been published by reliable, independent publications" for him to be considered a subject-matter expert. — Newslinger talk 20:52, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
    That sounds like the sort of thing we would normally apply to topic that is largely supported by academic texts. If Rockwell were interviewed or otherwise acknowledged by a respected photography magazine would that count here? This is a RS area I've been somewhat interested in for a while. For a while I've been considering doing some work on articles related to the sort of formula race cars that are typical of SCCA events. That is a topic with little academic sourcing. Trying to get facts/figures/opinions from experts is harder because they generally don't publish. I'm not sure if David Bruns has ever published anything on race car design but his Swift DB-1 was a car that changed Formula Ford across the world. A lot of the interesting design ideas associated with that car, things that made it successful, are voiced by people who's resumes make them clear experts in the field but not published on the subject. In this case I would not WP:IAR but rather bend them if reliable sources say Rockwell is an expert in the field. Springee (talk) 21:33, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Accuracy in Media on credibility of Climate FeedbackEdit

No. WBGconverse 16:04, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Is Accuracy in Media a reliable source for the credibility of Climate Feedback (RSP entry)? The following was added to the Climate Feedback article in Special:Diff/936305491:

In 2018 during a dispute regarding fact checking of the Daily Caller by Google and partner Climate Feedback, Brian McNicoll of Accuracy in Media called "a highly partisan climate site," "which has had many of its facts challenged," and the Daily Caller said "Climate Feedback is not usually regarded as objective," like Snopes.[1]


  1. ^ McNicoll, Brian (2018-01-10). "These Sites Have Been Hit the Hardest By Google's Fact-Checker". Accuracy in Media. Retrieved 2020-01-17.

— Newslinger talk 11:42, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Our article on it says "AIM, which opposes the scientific consensus on climate change, has criticized media reporting on climate change. The organization gives out the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award. Past recipients include Marc Morano (who runs the climate change denial website ClimateDepot, Tucker Carlson, and Jim Hoft (who runs the far-right conspiracy website Gateway Pundit)." It's also described as a "news media watchdog" but it obviously is watching from somewhere over on the right. It's not a reliable source for anything factual and that IMHO would include a statement on credibility of anything. Doug Weller talk 13:04, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
Right. Quoting AIM saying that Climate Feedback is unreliable would be like quoting a creationist saying that modern biology is unreliable, or quoting a holcaust denier saying that historians are unreliable. --Hob Gadling (talk) 14:01, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Las Vegas Review-JournalEdit

HI, I want to know are this journal confiable for wiki ? reviewjournal.DRIS92 (talk) 13:41, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

In this articles Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752, Reactions to the 2020 Baghdad International Airport airstrike or 2020 Baghdad International Airport airstrike for example DRIS92 (talk) 13:50, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

DRIS92, see WP:NEWSORG (vide 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.) WBGconverse 16:03, 18 January 2020 (UTC)


I'm posting this in relation to the currently ongoing AfD discussion of a new article about an 80s band, and the use of this review at Exclaim! to support notability. (Pinging Michig and Atlantic306 who have expressed views there.) Exclaim! is listed at Wikipedia:WikiProject Albums/Sources as a reliable source for musical topics, following this discussion where Andrzejbanas suggested it as an RS - nobody responded either way, so it was added to the list. Exclaim! is a printed magazine, with staff and an editorial board, and all the hallmarks of an RS; however, they also accept contributions from the public. I'd like to open this out to the wider community to see whether we are comfortable with reviews on their website being used to support notability for albums and/or musicians - my concern is that it may be a form of curated UGC along the lines of Forbes Contributors (as described at RSP). I don't have a strong view either way on this, music not being my area of expertise, and I will withdraw the AfD nomination if there is consensus that the website is indeed reliable for this purpose. (Bother - forgot to sign. Re-pinging the users mentioned above - Michig, Atlantic306, Andrzejbanas) GirthSummit (blether) 19:07, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Reliable as based on a magazine with editorial oversight, certainly for staff reviews, the review in question seems to be by a staff member as it does not term it a contributor. There is no evidence of poor editorial oversight, also the page regarding the public seems to be a recruitment page " to join the team" rather than requiring contributions so its questionable if there is any usergenerated content at all, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 19:13, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Reliable. It's an established, well respected magazine. There's a world of difference between publishing content submitted by the public and having a page on their site inviting people to apply to work for them as contributors. Exclaim! doesn't allow the public to post articles on their website. --Michig (talk) 19:38, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
    Michig, Atlantic306 thanks both for your views. I'll say now that if nobody else feels strongly enough to comment, I'll interpret that as consensus that the source is reliable (two against one, and I'm only 'a bit concerned', rather than strongly convinced that it's unreliable) and act accordingly. Views from others would be welcome. GirthSummit (blether) 20:56, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
  •   Comment: Usage example (diff) with edit summary "more than 500 incoming wikilinks". – (talk) 04:01, 19 January 2020 (UTC)


Related to a recent BLP AFD editors discussed the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) as source. I saw no immediate problems based on used as source on more than 30 enwiki articles, but another editor identified the source as WP:BROCHURE. Just in case I want this "on record" in the RS/N archives—the talk page would be deleted with the article—the issue could pop-up again for the other articles referencing CFMDC. – (talk) 03:36, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Fortnight (magazine)Edit

Just checking this is a reliable source? Going by our article—and the heavyweight commentators it notes as writing for the mag—it should be, and it's also indexed on JSTOR. Any views? All the best! ——SN54129 17:20, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Sounds from our article that it should be a source of notable opinions, at least - what was its track record for facts like? And, what prompts you to ask? - David Gerard (talk) 19:26, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Are these apparently reputable Egyptologists used at Land of Punt fringe?Edit

There are too many sources being deleted from Land of Punt here[80] by User:Dalhoa for me to go through them all, but two obvious examples are Dimitri Meeks[81] as well as Ian Shaw's Cambridge University Press book.[82] which is still used in the article. And of course as the entire section on Punt's possible location elsewhere was deleted, Meeks again as well as sources used in the section on Sri Lanka which I don't really know about. I'm mainly concerned about the Egyptologists in any case. This is I believe really a POV problem, see [83] and [84] - note the focus on the Horn of Africa. But I'll pursue that elsewhere if we can get agreement on the Egyptologists here. Thanks. Doug Weller talk 19:56, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Meeks is definitely an RS. My understanding is that an Arabian location for Punt, which he does advocate, is a minority but not fringe position. I have his essay on Punt's location (I reviewed the book that contains it here). But I've never seen Egyptologists suggest Sri Lanka, and none of the sources for the deleted Sri Lanka section are Egyptological aside from the Shaw and Nicholson book, which only mentions Sri Lanka once and not in the context of Punt. A. Parrot (talk) 20:13, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
I fully agree with both of you. There is a substantial difference from minority to fringe position. I'll quote two passages from WP:DUE: "Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represents all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources." and "An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject, but should strive to treat each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject." This has little to do with fringe, which is hardly supported by reliable sources at all. In the old version of the article, the minority positions have less weight into the article itself, just as it should be. Khruner (talk) 20:44, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
I'm also of the opinion that the biblical suggestions belong, their sources seem ok. As I said, I don't know about the Sri Lanka sources. Doug Weller talk 20:47, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
About the more controversial Sri Lankan claim, I don't know. I neutralized the whole POV paragraph shortly after it was written; a good half of the sources (let's say, the "Western ones", not in my intentions to be racist or whatsoever) that allegedly supported the hypothesis later turned out to be critical of it. Khruner (talk) 21:01, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Mint (newspaper) mirroring WPEdit

Here's a quote from WP's P. V. Sindhu (dated 2 September 2019):

Having made her international debut in 2009, she rose to a career high ranking of no. 2 in April 2017. Over the course of her career, Sindhu has won medals at numerous tournaments on the BWF circuit, including a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics ... She is the recipient of the sports honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and India's fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.

And here's a quote from a Mint's article (dated 25 September 2019):

Having made her international debut in 2009, she rose to a career high ranking of no. 2 in April 2017. Over the course of her career, Sindhu has won medals at numerous tournaments including a silver medal at the 2016. Sindhu is the recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, and India's fourth highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.

So careless was the copy-paste by the Mint that they even forgot to complete the sentence after "2016". - NitinMlk (talk) 20:51, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Is this the only article where this is known to have happened? WP:CIRCULAR is indeed a problem that can make this source unusable for Wikipedia. —PaleoNeonate – 13:12, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  • We need to keep note of the journalist concerned, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 23:01, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Hindustan Times mirroring WPEdit

Here is an example of Hindustan Times mirroring nearly 80% of its article's content from WP's unsourced content – copyvio report.

Mirroring by HT

This is our unsourced version as of 14 July 2012 (the sole sourced line of the following content was actually supported by this unreliable UGC):

Jaspal Bhatti was born on 3 March 1955 at Amritsar in a Rajput Sikh family. He graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh in Punjab, as an electrical engineer. He was famous for his street plays like his Nonsense Club during his college days. Most of these plays were spoofs ridiculing corruption in society. Before venturing into television, he was a cartoonist for the The Tribune newspaper in Chandigarh.

In the 1990s, he pioneered the home-made comedy on Indian Hindi TV channel Doordarshan. He also was famous for his career in acting and comedy.

Subsequent work

Bhatti's subsequently acted and directed the popular TV series Ulta Pulta and Nonsense Private Limited for the Doordarshan television network. What attracted audience to his shows was his gift of inducing humour to highlight everyday issues of the middle class in India. Bhatti's satire on the Punjab police Mahaul Theek Hai (1999) was his first directorial venture for a full-length feature film in his native Punjabi language. It was well received amongst audience for its simple and honest humour. He played the role of Jolly Good Singh, a guard, in the movie Fanaa. He played a comical college principal in Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe. He also starred in the comedy Punjabi film Jijaji.

Bhatti appeared in SAB TV's Comedy ka King Kaun as a judge with actress Divya Dutta. In his latest stint, Bhatti and his wife Savita competed in a popular Star Plus show Nach Baliye which went on air in October 2008.1 The couple put their best foot forward to entertain the audiences with their dancing and comic skills.

The cartoonist, humorist, actor and filmmaker is focusing on acting as he is getting numerous offers from Bollywood producers as a comedian.

And this is copy-pasted version published by the Hindustan Times on 25 October 2012:

Jaspal Bhatti was born on 3 March 1955 at Amritsar in a Rajput Sikh family. He graduated from Punjab Engineering College, Chandigarh in Punjab, as an electrical engineer. He was famous for his street plays like his Nonsense Club during his college days. Most of these plays were spoofs ridiculing corruption in society. Before venturing into television, he was a cartoonist for the The Tribune newspaper in Chandigarh.

In the 1990s, he pioneered the home-made comedy on Indian Hindi TV channel Doordarshan. He also was famous for his career in acting and comedy.

Subsequent work

Bhatti's subsequently acted and directed the popular TV series Ulta Pulta and Nonsense Private Limited for the Doordarshan television network. What attracted audience to his shows was his gift of inducing humour to highlight everyday issues of the middle class in India. Jaspal Bhatti's satire on the Punjab police Mahaul Theek Hai (1999) was his first directorial venture for a full-length feature film in his native Punjabi language. It was well received amongst audience for its simple and honest humour. He played the role of Jolly Good Singh, a guard, in the movie Fanaa. He played a comical college principal in Koi Mere Dil Se Poochhe. He also starred in the comedy Punjabi film Jijaji.

Bhatti appeared in SAB TV's Comedy ka King Kaun as a judge with actress Divya Dutta. In his latest stint, Bhatti and his wife Savita competed in a popular Star Plus show Nach Baliye which went on air in October 2008.[1] The couple put their best foot forward to entertain the audiences with their dancing and comic skills.

The cartoonist, humorist, actor and filmmaker is focusing on acting as he is getting numerous offers from Bollywood producers as a comedian.

I have seen many more mirrors from Indian and Pakistani newspapers, but I never kept record of them. Anyway, I will report them here in the future. - NitinMlk (talk) 20:58, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Slatersteven (et al.), Alert editor NitinMlk brought these here at my suggestion, partly to gain broader feedback, and partly simply to have this discussion recorded and searchably archived here. My feeling is that any source which has a pattern of mirroring WP content is ipso facto not reliable; if for no other reason than WP:WINARS. WP:CIRCULAR may also come into play. RSN seems like the right venue to air this, whether or not the source's other reporting is reliable, as a pattern of mirroring would make any article suspect, until the sources could be established. Viewers seeking information about the reliability of a source are unlikely to head first to WT:MIRROR. Mathglot (talk) 21:50, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
  • We need to keep note of the journalist concerned, here it is credited to an unnamed HT Correspondent, imv Atlantic306 (talk) 23:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

The Hindu mirroring misinformation from WPEdit

The Hindu had copied misinformation from WP, and they never responded to multiple emails from an experienced WP editor – see Wikipedia_talk:Noticeboard_for_India-related_topics/Archive_68#The_Hindu_copying_misinformation_from_WP. - NitinMlk (talk) 21:06, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

NitinMlk, Thank you for mentioning this, and adding the archive link. Paging previously involved discussants @Sitush, Abecedare, and DBigXray: in case they wish to add anything. Mathglot (talk) 21:55, 19 January 2020 (UTC) And Fylindfotberserk, not previously involved afaict, but who has his finger on the pulse of related topics, and may be interested. Mathglot (talk) 21:57, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Mathglot, Thanks for the ping. It is sad to see that the hindu failed to respond to the mails. I hope the email used was the right one. I will also suggest including N Ram, in the mail chain. He is on twitter. I regularly refer Hindu for the current topics, and I fing their reporting very factual. Regarding the article, since we have a conflict and we did not get a clarity from Hindu, I would suggest to disregard The Hindu article (a news source) in favour of the scholarly secondary source. DBigXray 22:07, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
@DBigXray: I don't know how it is with emails to big media companies these days, but I suspect that they are filtered by bot, and/or humans (more rearely), and simply considered less important. If anyone saw fit to write a letter (20th-century style, you know: paper, envelope, stamp, signature, all that stuff...) and address it to one of the top editors on the masthead, I'm guessing that would gather a better response. Typed/stamped letter : Email (21st c.) :: Telegram : Typed/stamped letter (20th c). I'll mail you a stamp, if you need one.   Mathglot (talk) 22:13, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
(edit conflict)
Suresh Nambath
The Hindu
Kasturi Building, Anna Salai, 859-860, Mount Road
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 600002
+91-44-2857 6300
Mathglot (talk) 22:31, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
DBigXray, Apparently, you're not the only one whose email they don't reply to. See bold entry "Metadata" in section "Further information" here. Mathglot (talk) 23:11, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
DBigXray, thanks for your input. The Hindu used to have very high standards till around 15 years ago. It is still among the best Indian newspapers. But I have seen multiple cases like the above one from it. Having said that, other Indian/Pakistani newspapers are even more careless in fact-checking.
Mathglot, this is just the tip of the iceberg. I have seen many cases of blatant copy-pastings from all major Indian newspapers. In fact, the level of accuracy of Indian/Pakistani news media is inversely proportional to the popularity of this project. Unfortunately, for the last decade or so, this project has become their de facto reference site. - NitinMlk (talk) 22:25, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
@NitinMlk: Indeed, and it's only their laziness that makes it so easy to spot. What you say about the project is true far beyond Indian newspapers, and I've seen articles in various topic areas clearly leaning heavily on WP content as a crutch, but paraphrasing or summarizing just enough, that you can't quite prove it. This is becoming a more and more serious problem, and the solution isn't obvious, but good reporters on reliable media will have their own on-the-ground sources. The problem is trying to evaluate which are which. Mathglot (talk) 22:39, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
The journalists of the developed nations are taught from their early life regarding plagiarism and copyrights, which makes it harder to catch them. But the reverse is true regarding the ones from the subcontinent. :) - NitinMlk (talk) 22:53, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
    • I don't believe we should rule out national newspapers from India and Pakistan for a few examples of mirroring as this would be institutional bias. Where there is mirroring that obviously rules out the source for that particular article but the use of Wikipedia is prevalent in all media , in the western hemisphere as well, not by the better journalists but by the worst lazy journalists who may just make a better job of paraphrasing it. Therefore, a case by case approach is needed imv Atlantic306 (talk) 22:17, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Atlantic306, you have made valid points. The worst are the ones who just pick facts from this project. - NitinMlk (talk) 22:25, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
And, yes, we cannot rule out Indian/Pakistani news media, as a huge number of our articles are solely sourced to them, especially those of the present-day sportspersons, entertainers, and politicians. So, the case-by-case consideration seems like the only alternative. Having said that, scholarly sources should always be preferred over them. - NitinMlk (talk) 22:46, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
Also agree that it should be case-by-case. Another thing to keep in mind, is that all large media companies are fallible and will have the occasional sourcing scandal, such as the NY Times and Washington Post. The key thing here, is what their reaction is: they stomp on such material heavily as soon as it is recognized, and are not afraid to criticize themselves for past actions, or to open up to reporters from other media, to criticize them. If The Hindu would respond openly and critically to DBigXray's missive, ideally in the pages of the newspaper itself, that would go a long way to mitigating the damage to their reputation. Mathglot (talk) 22:39, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

Fox SportsEdit

Hello all, just wanted to know if this was a reliable source: [1] The article in question is Zack HampleIdan (talk) 05:05, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

  • It's a reprint of an article from FanSided so is FanSided a reliable source? imv Atlantic306 (talk) 18:28, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Semantic Scholar clarification requestEdit

I am opening this request to seek clarification about linking to PDFs from Semantic Scholar through the OABOT tool, specifically if those PDFs do or do not violate copyright. In this way, this request for clarification is less about reliability, and more about if we can link to them without copyright infringement. I understand this topic was discussed recently here, yet I am raising this again as a result of a number of my edits, where I inserted links to these PDFs, being reverted, specifically as discussed on the OABOT Talk page here. I am seeking to follow copyright laws and uphold them here on Wikipedia, but my recent reverts seem to have conflicting arguments as to whether they should have been done or not, so I want to clarify this issue here before I take any action with either inserting more links to Semantic Scholar PDFs or reverting the reverts to my edits by citing the results of this clarification. Thank you. --- FULBERT (talk) 14:16, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

I hope this is the right place for this request for clarification to be posted, as I know it involves more an issue of reliability related to copyright than reliability alone. If it should be posted or pinged in another spot for discussion, please let me know and I am happy to do it there as well. FULBERT (talk) 15:41, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

My opinion is that they may or may not violate copyright, that we have no way of telling, and that because we can't tell we shouldn't link to them. My experience to back this up is that I tried searching for my own papers there and the second one I tried was clearly the publisher copy of an otherwise-paywalled paper, clearly not uploaded there by any author, provided for free download by semanticscholar even though it's still a paywalled paper. I think it's reasonably likely that semanticscholar obtained a license from the publisher to index the papers, extremely unlikely that it obtained a license to redistribute the papers open-access, and somewhat likely that it decided to go ahead and redistribute the papers that it obtained anyway despite not having permission. Alternatively maybe they intended to index but not redistribute and their software has a bug. But guesswork is guesswork. We need clear evidence that the publishers allow redistribution in order to avoid linking to pirate copies of papers, and we don't have that evidence in this case. We shouldn't default to assuming without evidence that anything we find on the net is free for the taking, just like we shouldn't assume that any object we find lying on the street is free for us to take and walk away with; that's pirate thinking. The evidence doesn't have to be anything as formal as an explicit statement of permission from a publisher, separately for each link: a link that appears to be the original publisher, a site controlled by an author of the paper, or an institutional repository of the author, can all be reasonably safely assumed to be legitimate. We can't just assume legitimacy for sites like citeseerx that pick up pdfs from anywhere, but citeseerx allows us to check in individual cases where they got the file from and whether that looks like the publisher or author. For semanticscholar, we don't even have that, we just have a bare pdf, and that's not good enough. —David Eppstein (talk) 17:44, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

Update: Semantic Scholar says that the case I found of a paywalled pdf that they listed was a "mistake" and that it has been removed. (I didn't actually ask for it to be removed, but unsurprisingly that was the result of the query.) Given how easy it was for me to find it I suspect there are or were many similar examples. But I didn't get any information about how the mistake happened, how many other articles are affected, or whether the removal is of that article only or of a broader class of similar mistakes. My contact at SS is checking whether this is a one-off mistake or broader misclassification but I don't have an answer to that yet. —David Eppstein (talk) 23:53, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
The answer to how this happened was "we crawl the web for open access PDFs" and that individual pdfs can be taken down on request. To me that means they cannot be regarded as free from piracy. —David Eppstein (talk) 00:59, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I consider this too broad a limitation. If you link through them, you should check that what they are linking to is apparently free. DGG ( talk ) 05:00, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Thanks to David Eppstein we now have even stronger indicators that the website operates well within the bounds of legality in USA. It's not some pirate website but a trustworthy repository and it can be linked just like any or publisher URL. Nemo 07:48, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

Climate Feedback and similar blog sources being treated differently?Edit

Here we have Newslinger removing attributed, sourced material from a Forbes blog because it is considered "self-published."[85]

Here we have Snooganssnoogans restoring un-attributed, sourced material from a "The Guardian" blog,[86] which was acknowledged as true (blog source) in an apology here,[87] and strikethrough of personal attack here.[88]

Should similar blog sources be treated oppositely like this? Should they be used or not for this article, and if so, should they be attributed similarly? -- Yae4 (talk) 19:08, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

The word "blog" doesn't mean anything for reliability outside that it means typically one person wrote the content, and likely in a format that is more personable than hands-off/impartial. Whether a blog becomes reliable is then whether there is an editorial review of that blog before it is posted for fact-checking and the like.
It has been established the Forbes Contributor blogs are posted without any check by the paid Forbes staff. This makes these blogs self-published and thus not reliable. Guardian's blogs have been show to be processed by editors before they are published, and thus can be presumed reliable. --Masem (t) 19:17, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
That doesn't seem to quite match with Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Perennial_sources#The_Guardian_blogs: "Most editors say that The Guardian blogs should be treated as newspaper blogs or opinion pieces due to reduced editorial oversight." -- Yae4 (talk) 19:25, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Right, they still have editorial oversight but they are written as opinions, so any claims or the like should be treated with attribution, but should not be considered wholly unreliable as with Forbes Contributor blogs. --Masem (t) 19:29, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Masem: it's been shown that that particular Guardian blog was done without full editorial control, see the WP:BLPN discussion. I'm not advocating reverting but hope the record is kept straight. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 19:39, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Peter Gulutzan, it's simply thatribution is wrong. It should be attributed to Dana Nuccitelli not The Grauniad. Guy (help!) 19:51, 20 January 2020 (UTC) contributor pieces undergo minimal editorial oversight, as established by the Poynter Institute, Columbia Journalism Review, The Outline, and BuzzFeed News (RSP entry). Editors from 10 previous noticeboard discussions show consensus that contributors are generally unreliable due to the site's poor reputation for fact-checking its contributors. Since The Guardian blogs (RSP entry) have not been shown to have the same issues as contributors, they are handled with WP:NEWSBLOG and WP:RSOPINION, which permit them to be used with in-text attribution. The text in Special:Diff/936739627 should have mentioned the author's name (Dana Nuccitelli), but the edit was otherwise compliant with policy. — Newslinger talk 20:24, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Newslinger, Dean Burnett has spoken about the level of control that the Grauniad exerts on its blog contributors> They have broad latitude but there is definitely oversight - it's largely post-publication not pre-publication, but it's there. Guy (help!) 09:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

A couple clarifications please: (1) Trying not to cast aspersions, but isn't using a term like "Grauniad" an example of using "derogatory, and insulting terms," or is this considered OK when directed outside Wikipedia? [89] (2) Isn't taking an isolated comment, from a long blog article with lots of details about a study, considered cherry picking or undue weight? Especially when the "highly respected and influential resource" comment is not also found in other, more reliable sources? -- Yae4 (talk) 15:02, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Not commenting about "Grauniad", but when dealing with non-ideal sources, the context and author also matter, of course. We should prevent accumulating the opinions of non-experts (even if attributed), or of non-notable people. In some cases WP:PARITY also applies, although when this is needed it could also be an indication that the topic lacks notability and so has little critical coverage. There's also the issue that in science, scientists tend to do their work more than educate about it, so criticism may come from a psychologist about fallacies, etc... So other than a little more oversight, this particular source would be from an "environmental scientist and risk assessor" according to the profile information (I personally don't know more about the author). —PaleoNeonate – 23:35, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

HYPR Corp WP:NCORP discussionEdit

Hello everyone, I have been discussion the removal of HYPR notability maintenance tag on Talk:HYPR_Corp#Reply_15-JAN-2020, Spintendo made a checklist to show the qualifying sources but he suggested to ask an editor who is more experienced in notability requirements which is why I came here. My doubt is that he deems Fortune and Darkreading articles as not secondary because they are based on CEO Avetisov interview, I disagree because WP:secondary defines secondary source as a source that gives information about a primary source, which could be an interview. Also, he left this source out of his checklist [1]. Does HYPR have significant coverage in multiple secondary sources? Thanks everyone!. Kriptocurrency (talk) 22:58, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

They're right about interviews for purposes of WP:NCORP, and that's a Forbes contributor blog and not a magazine article. It's also a blockchain-related article, so you should probably take heed of WP:GS/Crypto. I see the article is already marked as likely being paid spam, so being very harsh with its sourcing is absolutely appropriate - David Gerard (talk) 23:21, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes but it is not actually an interview, the author is just talking about something Avetisov said. Kriptocurrency (talk) 00:26, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
I see that you are also listed as a paid contributor to the article. I suggest that this is an excellent time to step back and not concern yourself further with the article in any manner - David Gerard (talk) 06:55, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Useful rule of thumb: if a "news" story is based on a press release, it is not independent, not reliable, and doesn't support notability. It's called churnalism. Guy (help!) 09:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)


Polls published by Center for International Security Studies (CISSM) University of Maryland School of Public Policy and Iran PollEdit

  • Used and disputed in Qasem Soleimani article. Also used (CISSM1, CISSM2, Iran Poll) in a bunch of other Iran-related articles.
  • Note:"In the past few years, the Center for International Security Studies (CISSM) at Maryland University has produced reports on polling surveys that have become popular among academics, the media and politicians in the West. The reports are mostly published under the name of Dr. Ebrahim Mohseni. In 2009, Mojtaba Khamenei helped Mohseni and Professor Mohammad Marandi to establish the University of Tehran Centre for Public Opinion Research (UTCPOR). Marandi — who studied in America and understands the mentality of Western media, politicians and writers — leads UTCPOR, which is monitored by the Iranian Foreign Ministry. He frequently appears on mainstream media, such as the BBC and Al Jazeera, among others, but one thing that these media organizations either do not know or fail to mention is that he is the son of Dr. Marandi, the head of Ayatollah Khamenei’s special medical team". "A significant amount of effort has been dedicated to presenting the polling surveys as a product of Maryland University. However, these are produced by Iran Poll. Iran Poll conducts research freely in Iran, which no other organization is allowed to do. ... this also reveals the monopoly Iran Poll has over the Western media when it comes to Iran, which demonstrates a troubling lack of critical assessment toward a polling institution supported by the regime in Tehran, which by its very essence cannot be neutral". Based on other polls by the same group, it is "claimed that Iranians believe the IRI is democratic while simultaneously claiming that Iranians do not want democratic forms of expression."Fair Observer.
  • Comment: Examples of absolutely questionable poll surveys conducted by the mentioned institutes as well as their suspicious connections to Iranian officials could be found in the link above. Ms96 (talk) 09:42, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Academic sources are more reliable than mainstream media. This poll was published in a highly reliable academic institution. Can't be unreliable. The reasons above are absolutely absurd and laughable.--SharʿabSalam▼ (talk) 12:26, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Why are the reasons above "absurd and laughable"? Seems pretty valid to me. Please do explain. --HistoryofIran (talk) 18:19, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@SharabSalam: Most academic sources are usually regarded as more reliable than most news sources because academic sources such as university presses and mainstream journals have robust editorial oversight and reputations for correcting mistakes and withdrawing discredited works. Just as some newpapers are regarded as unreliable sources, being an "academic source" does not automatically confer status as a "reliable source". - Donald Albury 19:29, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
  • In the report itself, University of Maryland definitely takes ownership of that poll and makes certain claims about its methodology. The authors are listed as not only Ebrahim Mohseni, but also Nancy Gallagher (bio [90]) and Clay Ramsay (bio [91]). I'd tend to trust the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy and these seemingly experienced and qualified researchers over Fair Observer when it comes to analyzing the trustworthiness of political polls. Is there any other significant criticism of this polling organization? Red Rock Canyon (talk) 20:45, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
@Red Rock Canyon: Apart from that specific survey which is a joint CISSM-IranPoll work as repeatedly mentioned in the PDF above, a simple search shows that the two institutes are extensively interconnected and have published tens of joint surveys. For instance Majority of Iranians now want to quit nuclear deal, 85% of Iranians critical of US government, More than two-thirds of Iranians support Iran’s missile program, etc. Other cases could be found on IranPoll's site itself. Yes, there are other cases of criticism: In a questionable telephone poll it was found that "Iranians were happy with the way authorities had handled the protests, with roughly two-thirds saying police handled the protests very or somewhat well, and a slightly smaller about (64 percent) saying they used an appropriate amount of force" Irannewsupdate. It is noteworthy that 1500+ people were killed and 7000+ arrested in 2019–20 Iranian protests, including around 100 who were massacred in a small town in southern Iran. Other than that, remember that this telephone poll was conducted in a country where contact with foreign media had long been criminalized (b), Iran bans contact with foreign media (c), and even any simple contact with ordinary activists would be considered a criminal offense (d).
In one case, Iranian Students Polling Agency employees were arrested for a survey conducted after 2017–18 Iranian protests which estimated that >70% of Iranians are not satisfied with their country's situation (e), (f). Funny is, at the same time (after 2017–18 protests) IranPoll in collaboration with CISSM published a poll survey which concluded that <4.9% of the Iranian public opinion favored a change in the regime, which was heavily criticized:
  • (g) (translation of the head: "Maryland university, or a branch of Islamic republic"),
  • (e2) (translation of the head: "Another controversial poll survey about Iranian protests"),
  • (h) (translation of the head: "Why the recent "IranPoll" survey is not reliable"),
  • (i) (translation of the head: "How Maryland university had been able to conduct a poll survey in Iran"),
  • (j) (translation of the head: "Maryland university survey, hazy and in a "security atmosphere=فضای امنیتی").
Other cases of criticism:
  • Well that's something. But again, those have the same problems as the Fair Observer piece. The criticism you've posted is all from popular news sources. Is there any criticism coming from experts in the field of political research and polling? On the face of it, Washington Examiner,, or are far less trustworthy of organizations than the team publishing the polls. Red Rock Canyon (talk) 13:15, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
@Red Rock Canyon: Have you seen this interview with Hosein Ghazian (sociologist, with expertise in Middle East and North Africa) by Deutsche Welle? I translate some parts: "One of the controversial aspects of this poll survey is its timing, conducted right after the protests when the people were overly afraid of freely expressing themselves ... It is naturally not logical to trust the data obtained on sensitive political issues under such circumstances ... But more problems appear when the questions are not well-created and there are fundamental problems in the design [of the survey] ... For instance, it is a survey containing 100 questions, which obviously makes the interviewees so tired during a phone call that there would be a comprehensive loss in the reliability of the results ... The quality of the data collected is questionable from a technical point of view."
Besides, It wasn't just Fair Observer, Washington Examiner,, and, I also mentioned VOA, DW, and Radio Zamaneh. Other cases could possibly be found upon further searching. Ms96 (talk) 15:23, 22 January 2020 (UTC)

WP:DAILYMAIL alt redirectEdit

Current consensus [92] is that WP:DAILYMAIL redirects to the well-known RFC, unlike WP:BREITBART which takes you to WP:RSP.

My question is, would it be controversial/not worth the bother to add a WP:DAILYMAIL (RSP) for Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Perennial_sources#Daily_Mail? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:41, 21 January 2020 (UTC)

Strikes me as a bit long to be useful. WP:MAILRSP is free. Do you think you'll use it? If so, just make it and use it. (I made WP:THESUN pointing to WP:RSP#The_Sun 'cos it saved typing.) - David Gerard (talk) 14:41, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Point. WP:DMRSP would be even shorter, and about as readable. But I see now we have Wikipedia:Citing Daily Mail already. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 20:43, 21 January 2020 (UTC)


Editors here may be interested in a discussion about whether is a reliable source. Best, Barkeep49 (talk) 02:40, 22 January 2020 (UTC)