Wikipedia:Village pump (policy)

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The policy section of the village pump is used to discuss already proposed policies and guidelines and to discuss changes to existing policies and guidelines.

Please see this FAQ page for a list of frequently rejected or ignored proposals. Discussions are automatically archived after remaining inactive for two weeks.

This is a proposal to promote the WP:PROJPAGE essay Wikipedia:WikiProject Computer science/Manual of style (MOS:COMPSCI or MOS:CS for short) into an actual MoS guideline page, at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Computer science. This isn't suitable for WP:RM because it entails a change from {{WikiProject style advice}} to {{MoS guideline}}, and recategorization as part of MoS.

  • This "guideline in all but name" has been remarkably stable for a long period of time, and is actually followed. I.e., it already is used by consensus as a guideline.
  • It is written in guideline-appropriate language already and does not need substantive revision, aside from removing a handful of self-references to WP:WikiProject Computer science (or user essays therefrom).
  • It is consistent with other topic-specific MoS pages such as Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Mathematics (though much less detailed, which is surely a good thing).
  • It has various "MOS:SOMETHING" shortcuts to it which are accepted in use and treated like any other; a 2022 WP:RfD to delete them closed with a consensus to keep.
  • Most of our topic-specific MoS pages originated this way, as wikiproject style advice pages and were moved to be integrated into MoS later.
  • A competing essay, now at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Computing (failed proposal), was firmly rejected by consensus (even proposals to keep a few elements of it were rejected), while the page under discussion here was kept and praised.
  • If promoted, it definitely should be part of MoS as a site-wide guideline, not something held within a particular wikiproject (per WP:CONLEVEL and WP:POLICYFORK); same as with all the other topic-specific MoS pages and naming-conventions guidelines already.
  • This should not be interpreted as a proposal to elevate any other wikiproject style essays. Those that were viable have already been merged into MoS, and the rest seem to be disused and even problematic (though some might be reparable). This is the lone straggler, and I meant to nominate it years ago but forgot or pushed it off.
  • Having wikiproject style essays laying around as neither incorporated into MoS nor deprecated as {{Historical}} or {{Rejected}} is a hazard; cf. this RM in which a non-admin closer incorrectly came to a "no consensus" decision when people cited a wikiproject essay that contradicts both MOS:& and WP:COMMONNAME policy, as if the essay was coequal with side-wide article title requirements. Policy-forking often happens at pages like that essay (since corrected) when they are not part of MoS and thus don't get watchlisted by the guideline-shepherding editorial pool.

PS: MOS:COMPUTING, MOS:COMP, WP:MOSCOMP, and perhaps a few other shortcuts that currently point to the failed proposal should be usurped to redirect to the "new" guideline after the change. PPS: I have had almost no input into the page myself other than minor cleanup.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  13:54, 12 January 2024 (UTC); rev'd. 18:55, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Survey (MOS:CS) edit

  • Support as nominator, of course, and willing to do whatever cleanup is needed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  18:55, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support seems fine, generally in favor of making it clear what pages are actually guidelines (with consensus support) and what pages aren't. Galobtter (talk) 21:57, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. A good summary of what we currently expect for computer science related pages. 0xDeadbeef→∞ (talk to me) 05:25, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Neutral per Red-tailed hawk's comment below. 0xDeadbeef→∞ (talk to me) 04:57, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support This page seems to provide very useful advice, especially the Style guidelines section, and it would better fulfill its purpose as a community-endorsed guideline. However, the concern below about the Design patterns subsection linking to a rather messy Wikipedia article about a book should be fixed first. Toadspike (talk) 12:36, 23 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Oppose Wikipedia:Specialized-style fallacy is just an essay and we can treat essays with contempt -- but this is an essay too. Its unexceptionable bits are in effect re-asserting what's already implied by some PAG or other, which means we don't need to elevate it, and where it might contradict some PAG or other I'd remember what Caliph Omar supposedly said: “So if these books all agree with the Koran, they are redundant and thus can be burned. If they disagree, then they are heretical and thus should be burned.” Peter Gulutzan (talk) 20:42, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Your dislike of an essay I mostly wrote, and of Koranic commentaries, don't really seem pertinent to this matter.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:15, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I said "can" not "do", and Omar's an analogy. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 16:22, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support Guidelines are just that, guidelines. I think this reflects consensus on how CS pages are structured with the caveat that pages that do not conform can and should exist. Sohom (talk) 11:00, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support I still don't find the design patterns guidance helpful, however I don't write CS articles and those who do have apparently had no problem with the instructions. Appreciate SMcCandlish being so responsive to stated concerns and for doing all of this work. Schazjmd (talk) 13:56, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Neutral I also don't find the current design patterns guidance helpful, and I gave two specific examples below of how the given advice conflicts with two existing articles of prominent design patterns. I'm not concerned about having to retrofit those articles, so I put myself in the shoes of someone who is going to look at the MOS for the first time and found that I wouldn't know what to do and that there aren't any good on-wiki examples provided to help me understand. But I'm not involved enough with editing in that area to get too noisy about it. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 23:55, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support. No objections from me. SWinxy (talk) 17:14, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support; I do not have an objection to this. –Gluonz talk contribs 16:40, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Support: useful subject-specific guidance for standardisation (particularly the pseudocode treatment). I can see it helping newcomers and used to resolve disputes. I'm not sure how much I like the example articles given (some have issues like technicality of the lead, unverifiability or indiscriminate detail), but these can be improved over time. — Bilorv (talk) 15:56, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion (MOS:CS) edit

I find the statement The article should start with an introductory paragraph (or two) to be in a bit of tension with MOS:LEADLENGTH, which explicitly recommends larger leads for larger articles. If promoted, would this advice be removed, or modified to be in line with the general lead length guidance? — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 15:49, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sure, any glitches like that would have to be normalized to agree with central guidance that governs it, like LEADLENGTH in this case. I figured I would probably miss something or other in going back over it before nominating. We don't tolerate WP:POLICYFORKs, so any such issues would have to be ironed out.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:44, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Done Fixed. Also updated the lead paragraph example to agree with the current version of the selected article.[1]  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:56, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of the example articles seem to be outdated or aren't actually best examples we have in those subareas. For algorithms, binary search is a featured article on this topic, compared to Quicksort which is B-class. For programming languages, Python is C-class, and IIRC the best we get on programming languages is Rust, which is a GA. 0xDeadbeef→∞ (talk to me) 16:45, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which other examples did you want to replace with which? Happy to do it, or you could just have at it. I don't think replacing the examples with better ones (or updated versions of the same ones, when quoting examples) would be substantive (i.e. no WP:PGCHANGE concerns).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  16:58, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Done with regard to those two.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  17:02, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Many computing articles date from the early years of Wikipedia when sources weren't required; in particular if material was in textbooks was not thought necessary to provide sources. The result is much unreferenced material in these articles, which is becoming problematic. The proposed guideline says

It is quite important for an article to have a well-chosen list of references and pointers to the literature.

Can this be made more in line with current policy? The math guideline says

Per the Wikipedia policy, WP:VERIFY, it is essential for article content to have inline citations, and thus to have a well-chosen list of references and pointers to the literature.

StarryGrandma (talk) 23:03, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Done, though in more specific terms [2] that reflect the policy better (inline citations are only required for specific sorts of things).  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  23:26, 12 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I like that better than my suggestion. I am a member of the decreasing number of editors who believes "likely to be challenged" means "likely to be challenged as incorrect" rather than "likely to be challenged, even if correct, because there is no inline reference". StarryGrandma (talk) 05:15, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One would certainly hope the former continues to prevail.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  08:30, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that the current version is an improvement over the old version, but I don't think that either Wikipedia:WikiProject Computer science/Manual of style#Concluding matters or Wikipedia:WikiProject Computer science/Manual of style#Including literature and references should be in the page at all. Neither of them say anything unique to the subject. They are redundant with existing guidelines. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:49, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Will look into it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:25, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Not sure I suspect this revision, also to address primary/secondary concern raised by Sohom Datta below, will do the job. The new version focuses on source matters as they pertain to the subject. I basically can't address both WhatamIdoing's delete-the-section idea and Sohom Datta's improve-the-section idea simultaneously, except by trying to improve the section sufficiently to resolve the desire to delete it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:38, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Red-tailed hawk and StarryGrandma: Anything else to patch up?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  08:32, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If this is to become part of the MOS, can we drag ourselves into the 21C and get rid of the insane prohibition on using binary prefixes? Adding a short paragraph would be sufficient to explain the difference between and to note that the SI prohibits the use of decimal prefixes with a binary meaning. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 10:00, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would be a substantive change and something to propose in a separate RfC (also advertised at WT:MOSNUM, where this has been argued to death for over a decade). It's been a while, so it's vaguely possible that consensus could have changed on this question, though I doubt it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:43, 14 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I fear that you are right in the assumption that the usual suspects would pile in and the sheer number of !votes would guarantee that nothing is done. It's really quite odd how we have metric measures forced on us by the SI enthusiasts - until - something that the SI bans but they like is mentioned! Maybe try again in another decade. :-( Martin of Sheffield (talk) 21:21, 14 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Related discussion has opened (by someone else) at WT:MOSNUM#Added_MOS:BINPREFIX.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:25, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't think including a "overview" section is something that I have seen in a lot of CS articles. Most articles will call this section a "background" section and what is being described as a "motivation" section is normally included with the history section. (Also maybe we can give a example of such usages of background sections (I'd personally say Small_set_expansion_hypothesis or maybe Cross-site leaks ?)
I'd also like to see some discussion on the use of self-published wiki/book content/blog posts from primary sources in the references section. (for example, referencing a blog post/ from the Rust development team is fine when specifically describing the internal architecture of the Rust compiler, or the motivation behind a specific issue with language design of Rust, however, it is discouraged in most other cases for example when describing Rust benchmarks or the features that set it apart from x language etc). Sohom (talk) 15:16, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the sectioning matter, probably need to look at what GAs/FAs in the topic are doing and see how to update that material a bit. On the primary/secondary point, can you suggest some specific wording to use?  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:43, 14 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Partly done [3] (also to resolve issue raised by Toadspike, below). Haven't yet addressed the primary/secondary point, and another editor below wants to remove the entire section in question as not specific to the topic. There may be some kind of compromise solution; will look into it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:25, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Done entirely now [4] – Added the primary vs. secondary distinction, and generally revised to address WhatamIdoing's concerns above about the material being too redundant with existing guidance, for not being specific to the topic, and thus the entire section being worth deleting.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:38, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If I were to start writing a CS article, I'd be seriously confused by Wikipedia:WikiProject_Computer_science/Manual_of_style#Design_patterns. It's one sentence that links to an article about a book; is the article the example to follow (even though it's tagged for layout issues)? Or am I expected to get this book to learn how to format an article about design patterns? I think that subsection either needs to be expanded to be more descriptive or removed. Schazjmd (talk) 15:30, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This well known book follows a very specific pattern when describing each design pattern See the entry about "Abstract Factory" I think following the pattern used by the book is what the guideline is talking about here. Sohom (talk) 18:04, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for explaining, @Sohom Datta. I think this subsection would be more useful if it provided a descriptive summary of the pattern used by the book. Schazjmd (talk) 18:13, 13 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Gamma, Helm, Johnson & Vlissides ("Gang of Four") book (1994, O'Reilly; also 1995, Addison-Wesley) is findable online in full text easily, but it's unclear whether any of the copies are legit (I'm skeptical). There are "cheatsheet" summaries available on various websites, similar to citation-style cheatsheets findable at various universities, etc. There are a lot of such patterns, and our page would get long if it tried to address all of them, so referring people to the book, to our own article on it and the specific-pattern articles we already have, and to some good cheatsheets, are likely to be the best we can do. The patterns themselves might actually call for additional mainspace material, i.e. expand on what's covered at Design Patterns#Patterns by type and the articles linked therefrom, but that's an separate article-development matter. A similar book with a similar title by Pree (1995, Addison-Wesley) is available for free reading via IA [5]. Weirdly, IA does have the 1998 CD-ROM that goes with the Gang of Four book [6], but not the book itself.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  20:43, 14 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then at least can we say explicitly to follow the examples in the book? Just linking to the article about the book, "The classic GoF format is a good guideline for the structure of an article describing a design pattern.", is decidedly unhelpful. Schazjmd (talk) 20:53, 14 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, that seems easily doable, and I might link in a "cheatsheet" as a ref.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  01:23, 16 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Done This should do it. I ended up no linking to external "cheatsheets" since most of them seemed to be based on our own articles, were too rudimentary to be useful for our purposes, or were language-specific.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:52, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As a reader with basic familiarity with the subject of design patterns (i.e. I took Ralph Johnson's class in the '90s), I'm still confused as to what the advice really means. I chose two of our pattern articles at random, flyweight and builder, and the structure of those two articles is rather far afield from structure provided in the GoF book I have open in front of me right now. For example, GoF intentionally dedicates a section in each pattern explicitly listing which other patterns a part of common interactions, and the two articles here that I reviewed do not do that, instead sometimes wikilinkng to other patterns as part of the implementation details. Another example is that GoF dedicates a separate section to concrete examples of real-world usage for each pattern, whereas I didn't see any of that in these two random articles. I'm aware that we can't just copy the book and am not claiming that the structure is even worth adopting, but it's hard to connect the structure of these articles to the recommended references given in the MOS. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 02:37, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It might just be that the material in that part is too old and/or aspirational, even with my attempts to reconfigure it. Maybe it should either be changed to a looser "see these books for good examples of how to write about design patterns" advice, or just removed.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:55, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think relaxing the language would be a good improvement. I think there's room for future improvement where the guidance includes what basic information to include, much like the other sections about what to include in theorem and language articles, but for now, loosening the language would address my concerns. Regards, Orange Suede Sofa (talk) 23:43, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm a little confused as to what "motivation" means – is it supposed to be the purpose of the software/algorithm? This isn't, to my knowledge, a common definition of the word "motivation", so I would appreciate if better wording or a parenthetical clarification could be found. It was also unclear on my first read whether "motivation" referred to the motivation of the article's subject (purpose of the software/algorithm) or of the Wikipedia article itself (along the lines of a "this article will explain..." sentence, which I think is unencyclopedic). Perhaps

It can be helpful to have a section on motivation or applications in the informal introduction

could be supplemented with

It can be helpful to have a section on motivation (purpose of the subject) or applications in the informal introduction

Other solutions would be appreciated. Or maybe someone will be able to explain why this isn't an issue at all, such as by providing evidence that this usage of "motivation" is common in computer science writing. Toadspike (talk) 13:01, 23 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Done Fixed [7] (also to resolve issue raised by Sohom Datta, above). "Motivation" was just someone's unusual idiosyncratic wording, and not some kind of standardized jargon usage.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:14, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Red-tailed hawk, StarryGrandma, WhatamIdoing, Martin of Sheffield, Sohom Datta, and Schazjmd: I've addressed (to the extent I can) the issues reported above. If there aren't more to raise, then some additional explicit support comments above would be good, so there's a better consensus record here. There are some parts of it that could use more concise wording and other non-substantive tweaks, but anyone should just go do it. I'm hard-pressed to find more substative changes that really seem necessary.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  02:04, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have a slight qualm with the instruction Write the article title and any alternative names in bold in light of WP:AVOIDBOLD, which could also apply depending on the title.
Separately, and in general, I think the WikiProject style guide is quite good, provided that it's treated as a rough tool. Some other parts of the MoS are often cited by editors as if they are pseudo-policy, and as such I'm a bit queasy on !voting support on something with such an explicit suggested structure for an article unless there's some language added to the top of that section indicating that the "suggested" structure is not required. Adding a final sentence to the first paragraph of the "Suggested structure of a computer science article" section like Please note that the following structure is merely suggested; computer science articles can be structured in other ways if the authors of the page desire would work to ameliorate those concerns. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 02:24, 31 January 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  Partly done @Red-tailed hawk: MOS:BOLDTITLE and MOS:BOLDSYN are necessarily exceptions to MOS:AVOIDBOLD. You didn't just now notice this did you? "Suggested" already means not-required, but I added such a codicil, in more "guideliney" language [8].  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  10:29, 2 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Sex and gender distinction in policies edit

The following discussion is closed and will soon be archived: This idea is not developed enough for a proposed policy change yet. It may be helpful to talk about your idea at the Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab). If you do so, please consider starting with an example of one existing sentence that you think should be changed. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:01, 9 February 2024 (UTC) Reply[reply]

Firstly, sex and gender are completely different things.

Just because an individual has a penis does not mean that they are male.
Just because an individual has a vagina does not mean that they are female.
Besides genitals (external sex organs), sex is defined by presence of many anatomical structures such as gonads (internal sex organs e.g. testes, ovaries), accessory reproductive organs (uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, prostate, etc.), sex hormones, secondary sex characteristics, etc.
I know that without context, anatomy should not be mentioned in all articles.
But differences between sex and gender must be stated.
Male ≠ man
Female ≠ woman
Intersex ≠ non-binary
This is because sex and gender are different things.
It is possible for people to be born without any gender, and they are called agender people.
But it is impossible for people to be born without a sex.

Secondly, the usage of "male" to refer to the "man" gender, and usage of "female" to refer to the "woman" gender cannot be justified, because if it were, then "intersex" could also be used to refer to "non-binary", but it isn't. There is no valid reason for such ambiguous usage of words, since it rather causes confusion to readers.

It is WP:VAGUE and confusing to use words, that generally refer to sex, to refer to words that generally refer to gender.
This ambiguity in usage of words, for sexes and genders, is rather discriminatory, and, to be fair, transphobic in some cases.

Thirdly, I propose that all relevant policies be rewritten to accurately differentiate between sex and gender.

The policies that will be directly affected by this proposal include, but not limited to, the following:

The policies that may be indirectly affected by this proposal include, but not limited to, the following:

CrafterNova [ TALK ] [ CONT ] 06:42, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First, the sex/gender prescriptive language isn't that widely used. West & Zimmerman's suggested language never really caught on. Today we tend to use AMAB/AFAB more than female man / male woman.
Second, when has this ever led to confusion among editors interpreting or implementing policies or guidelines? We don't need to fix anything that isn't broken.
Last, many trans folks use man/male and woman/female interchangeably as is the norm in English. It is incorrect to insist that failure to adhere to the prescriptive languaige is transphobic. EvergreenFir (talk) 06:56, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
For the part that is about language:
In articles, language should be objectively respectful for everyone. And that includes everyone.
For the part that is not about language:
many trans folks use man/male and woman/female interchangeably as is the norm in English
This is not about language. This is about the scientific differences between sex and gender.
Sex is anatomical and physiological, but gender is not.
Failure of language to adhere to objective moral standards is discriminatory. — CrafterNova [ TALK ] [ CONT ] 18:25, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It appears to be very much about language and your preferred definition of certain words, which is not reflected in how English is used or understood. Many words have multiple definitions, "male" and "female" among them. For "male". Merriam-Webster has sex in definition 1 a), gender in definition 1 b). The Cambridge Dictionary lists gender before sex. Oxford Learners puts gender before sex.
There may be situations where we need to be careful to be clear whether we are referring to sex or gender, but in many cases such distinction is either clear from context or makes no practical difference. A newspaper may run a run-on sentence about a baseball player who was run down while running the bases and therefor failed to continue his run of having scored a run in seven consecutive games, but as long as we can understand the word in context, a word having multiple meanings is not an inherent problem. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 19:31, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@CrafterNova - Regardless of my or your thoughts on how things should be, the insistence that sex/male/female refer only to anatomical or physiological traits is not widely accepted and generally limited to academic venues. Additionally, prescriptive language is usually not respectful (e.g., insisting on he/she instead of they) and to say that people cannot use male to mean man is prescriptive and limits people. My comment that you say is "not about language" is indeed 100% about language. Reflecting their colloquial use, many trans folks use male/female to refer to gender. Insisting that they cannot do so is discriminatory, not an "objective moral standard". EvergreenFir (talk) 20:18, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't agree with your analysis of the language... and even if I did, I am left very uncertain with what changes you are calling for. You seem to be concerned about the terms "male" and "female", but then you point to MOS:GENDERID and MOS:DEADNAME as examples of things that need changing. Not only do neither of those sections of MOS:BIO use the terms "male" or "female", but they actually aren't two sections -- they're two pointers to the same location. And as that section is part of the MOS:BIO page, it's not clear what you mean by that the section must be changed but the page on its own may only be "indirectly affected" (although the whole of MOS:BIO does indeed include the term "female", as part of the phrase "Where a female historical figure is consistently referred to using the name of her husband".) WP:GNL is not a policy, nor is WP:GNLP, nor WP:WAW, nor WP:GENDERID -- they're all just essays. The only things gendered in MOS:LAYOUT is a reference to Winston Churchill as a "British statesman" (and to the best of my knowledge Churchill was a man in every working definition of the term) and a reference to Wikipedia having "sister projects", which I suppose could be degendered but I suspect doesn't go to the heart of whatever it is you're calling for. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 07:09, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@NatGertler: You are right. These changes are not limited to policies, but also essays, Wikiprojects, and many other types of pages.
I have tried gathering support for this proposal earlier, and have been doing for some weeks.
However, I live in an area of my country where there are very few Wikipedians, if not none at all.
I tried discussing similar changes on off-wiki social media Wikipedian and Wikimedian groups; some say it's "too infeasible", some disagree, and many do not engage in such discussions. — CrafterNova [ TALK ] [ CONT ] 18:44, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please be extremely cautious of off-wiki canvassing. EvergreenFir (talk) 20:20, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Rather than just saying that policies should be changed, I think if you want to win editors over you're going to need to propose at least a few specific changes so that editors know what you explicitly have in mind. DonIago (talk) 07:09, 4 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Doniago: You are correct.
Perhaps such changes may require an RfC, but I'm willing to consider other options before creating an RfC, such as third opinions.
We need participation in this discussion from many editors of all sexes, genders, and sexualities, to reach consensus that is neutral in points of view, and does not conform to social norms. — CrafterNova [ TALK ] [ CONT ] 18:31, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Could you clarify what you mean by 'neutral' in the above? Do you mean 'neutral' per WP:NPOV (i.e. "representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on a topic"), or 'neutral by some other standard - because if you mean the former, I'd have thought that it rather implies 'conforming to social norms', or at least, giving them a great deal of weight. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:52, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@AndyTheGrump: Social norms are often discriminatory because they generalize people's personalities, which are unique in case of every person. No person should have to conform to social norms because such norms restrict rights to freedom of people who are ethical and have good intentions. Hence, social norms are not neutral, and consensus should not conform to social norms.
Hence, I intend the meaning of "neutral" here to be "representing fairly, proportionately, and, as far as possible, without editorial bias, all the significant views that have been published by reliable sources on topics" as well as non-conformity to social norms. — CrafterNova [ TALK ] [ CONT ] 15:00, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So, "neutral so long as neutral does not happen to conform to social norms, in which case something else"? -- Nat Gertler (talk) 15:08, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@NatGertler: What do you mean by "in which case something else"? — CrafterNova [ TALK ] [ CONT ] 16:13, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be positing that we should apply our standard rules unless the result conforms to social norms. It would be one thing to say we should not take conforming to social norms as a goal, but your phrasing suggests that disconformity should be our goal ("We need[...] to reach consensus that[...]does not conform to social norms." "consensus should not conform to social norms" "meaning of "neutral" here to be [...] non-conformity to social norms." Setting non-conformity as a goal rather than just as a likely outcome of true neutrality is non-neutral. It's stacking the deck. It's like saying I want to know the height of the average man, but I'll disallow any answers between 5'1" and 5'8". I don't know what the "something else" would be, I just know that the language you are putting forth appears to call for something else, if vague.
But then, there's a vagueness to your proposal that seems to be causing difficulty for those who wish to comment on it. Perhaps your suggestion might gain more traction if you could come up with a concrete example, Here's sentence V in article W that has the problem X, which could be addressed if we added language Y to MOS:Z., something like that. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 16:58, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are controversies within controversies in this. For one thing, there is considerable dispute about the terms "male" and "female" (specifically as being terms for sexes not genders, with "woman/girl" and "man/boy" being the latter, except of course to those with a denialist, transphobic bent, for whom the latter are also sex terms). And AFAB/AMAB is also controversial, because these terms originated in the sex assignment of biologically intergender babies, and describes a process of somewhat arbitrarily "assigning" a child to a particular sex category on the basis of whichever seems the closest fit based on detailed diagnosis (and largely in response to rather binary bureaucracy, which expects either F or M on a birth certificate). This is a process that doesn't apply to non-intersex babies, who are simply observed to have either female or male genitalia, not subjectively "assigned" something dubious. But the AFAB/AMAB terminology has been borrowed to mean something completely different to a subset of people, something highly socio-politicized. WP has to take care not to pick up and promote usage that is found primarily in activism materials and some journalism following them, but which does not agree with mainstream scientific usage and other writing that follows that.

Anyway, I agree with above comments that this "proposal" is too vague to very meaningfully evaluate. If there are problematic policy statements, they need to be specifically identified and some specific revisions to them suggested.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:51, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The use of 'infobox country' for fictitious states edit

It has always been my understanding that the intended purpose for infoboxes is to provide a summary of key non-controversial data for an article. It appears to me however that with regard to one particular article topic - so-called 'micronations' - this has not been the case, and that instead they have been systematically misused. Specifically, it has been common practice to use 'infobox country' for in these articles, despite the fact that the entities they describe are essentially fictitious entities, invariably lacking diplomatic recognition, and almost always lacking any property of an actual nation-state whatsoever, beyond those existing in the fertile imaginations of those promoting them. It seems to me to be self-evident that the use of an infobox otherwise reserved for real entities is liable to be misleading to our readership, many of whom may not take the time to read the entire article, and to (hopefully) discover that the 'country' being described has no basis in reality.

The 'micronations' topic has sadly been plagued for many years by promotional editing, the citation of dubious sources, dishonest representation of content from more reputable sources etc, etc, along with associated sockpuppetry, off-Wikipedia canvassing, and general abuse of the platform, and in my opinion the manner in which the use of the 'county' infobox has seemingly become standard practice appears to be a remnant of that.

To give a specific example, the Liberland 'micronation' is one of the more well-known and systematically-promoted of these supposed entities, with the consequence that the presence and/or content of the infobox in our article has been the subject of multiple ongoing disputes. Over the years, it has at various times been graced with all sorts of unsourced and/or otherwise untenable claims regarding everything from the size of the population (which is zero, as far as any credible source has ever reported) to the existence of a whole slew of self-appointed government officials (at least one of which was added by said 'official' himself), claims regarding 'official currencies' and 'official languages' and even a specific 'calling code' - the last at least labelled 'proposed' and citing a source, though the source itself fails to provide any evidence that a proposal has actually been made to anyone in a position to act upon it.

At various times, those supporting the use of the infobox in this content have made various arguments in its favour, most of which have come down to the questionable assertion that since the article describes the subject as a 'micronation', it isn't necessary to explain anything further, nor to use them for any other purpose than to present the partisan claims of those promoting the entity described. This seems to be disingenuous at best, if not outright dishonest, given that it relies on the readers careful reading and/or prior knowledge to counter the inherent bias in presenting what is essentially fiction as fact. It shouldn't be necessary to have to read an article to discover that one is being misled by the accompanying infobox.

Given the above concerns, I would have to suggest that the appropriate course of action would be for WP:RS, WP:NPOV etc, etc to be properly enforced, and that the systematic abuse of infoboxes in this context be dealt with - by explicit change of policy if that is needed - and that this misrepresentation be dealt with by removing these boxes of disinformation entirely. Infoboxes for countries should describe countries, not fantasy worlds, and they don't belong in artices describing the latter. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:54, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I completely agree. SportingFlyer T·C 15:59, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Some of them aren't even real micronations. Certes (talk) 16:21, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just wondering… is the type of info someone would expect to see in an infobox for a micro-nation the same or different than what is standard in the country infobox we use for a recognized nation state?
I ask because I can see how having an infobox for these entities might be useful… but perhaps it should be a new, separate infobox, with different parameters. Blueboar (talk) 18:20, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fictional locations should use Template:Infobox fictional location. InfiniteNexus (talk) 18:35, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The name of the template is almost meaningless in this discussion. It's just a name used to let other editors know what type of content it should be used on. If you look at the template's redirects you will also find Template:Infobox micronation which has been redirecting to it since 2013. The discussion that resulted in the removal of the infobox was short sighted. If you have issues with the data entered, handle it like we do any other piece of information. Gonnym (talk) 18:32, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Normally, we deal with 'information' that violates WP:RS, WP:NPOV etc by removing it entirely. Which is what I am proposing. The problem isn't the name of the infobox (I never suggested it was), the problem is the way a convention normally used for non-controversial fact is systematically being used to promote fiction. This is dishonest, and would remain so regardless of how the box of fictions was renamed. AndyTheGrump (talk) 18:43, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If information added to the infobox is not verifiable or is not cited to reliable sources, that falls under policies like WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV, etc. The name of the template of the infobox being used seems secondary. To use a parallel example, academic scholarship tends to regard the Book of Esther as being probably fictional, but the Esther (permalink) page's use of the "infobox person" template isn't a problem since the information it contains simply provides plot-and-analysis-relevant information about her in the narrative's setting. So if reliable sources don't say what Liberland's population is (to use your example), the Liberland infobox doesn't say it; if reliable sources don't say someone is part of Liberland's self-purported-but-unrecognized government, then they don't get added to the infobox.
I'm not seeing what policy needs to be changed. WP:V, WP:RS, and WP:NPOV seem adequate for dealing with information added to infoboxes; the infobox and its name are secondary. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 18:50, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, here's a practical example: the infobox for Liberland stated that Vít Jedlička is 'President'. Is that verifiable? It is certainly verifiable that he describes himself thus, but should we be presenting such an unsupportable claim as if it is factual in an infobox? I'd say that it was a gross violation of WP:NPOV to present his claim that way - and that is essentially the only way these infoboxes are being used. Nothing they contain is uncontroversial fact, and given that empty boxes are useless, policy requires removal. Not endless arguments over sourcing, not endless addition of promotional BS. Removal. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:19, 5 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, it's verifiable (at least for 2015). Gonnym (talk) 21:04, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"...self-declared President Vit Jedlicka...". That doesn't make him a president. It makes him someone who calls himself one. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:42, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Micronations are not fictional, in that they're not in the domain of fiction drafted up by some writer or alt-history person. They're real claims of land, almost always completely BS. Despite their lack of recognition, micronations still have concrete claims of land area and population (haters may claim 0 isn't a population). They also have flags, insignia, mottos, anthems, etcetera. Anything that fails verification may be removed, but my opinion is that it should still have infoboxes. Liberland, in its infobox, said its status was an "unrecognized micronation", which I believe is sufficient to convey it has no diplomatic basis. The infobox should stay.
As mentioned, unverifiable information must be removed per V, RS, and NPOV. SWinxy (talk) 17:47, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But, micronations are fictional in that they are inventions of someone's imagination. Sealand did manage to create a physical (but not a legal) presence by squatting for a while on an abandoned defense tower, but micronations in general have no physical or legal existance. Our articles about micronations are not about things that exist in the real world, they are about fictitious entities, no matter what claims their proponents put forth, Donald Albury 20:23, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"But, micronations are fictional in that they are inventions of someone's imagination." Isn't that true of ALL nations? --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 13:37, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
there are editors here who are peeved that people come from offsite to try to promote a microstate that they either like or maybe even have personal ties to, which is understandable. hitting upon the idea that the denial of a infobox somehow dilutes the legitimacy of the micronation status is just daft and petty. as long as it is clearly stated what they recognized/unrecognized status is, an infobox should be returned to the article. ValarianB (talk) 17:54, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There's a lot of side points people are making but I think that a dedicated Micronation infobox would smooth much of the drama out. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:28, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The other comments above have it exactly right. There seem to be a small cohort of editors who are just personally irked that a "fake" or "illegitimate" or inconsequential country can have a page of its own, let alone an infobox of its own. Of course, this is highly biased, especially when notability and reliability of sources guidelines have all been properly followed, and claims cited. Rather than recusing themselves of being editors of these articles, they're engaging in the opposite: starting proposals to remove infoboxes, etc.
Infoboxes are fundamentally summaries of basic information that one would find within the body of an article; plain and simple (it's in the name: it's a box with information that comes from the body of the article). They have no fancier or more stringent requirements than do the bodies of articles. Insofar as the body text of an article exists with properly cited sources, that same information can be summarized in an infobox, which is what is being done in every case on WP. Articles on micronations are no exception to this.
Regarding these arguments about "unsupportable claim": if the entire article is prefaced with the words "unrecognized nation" or the like, it's amply clear to anyone reading that the claims made by the entity in question in the article are disputed. This is hardly any different than the article on Taiwan claiming that it's a "country" when even the UN seemingly disagrees with them. There's variation in how much legitimacy there are to these claims, but insofar as these claims exist, what matters is whether they are notable and are verifiable (by way of secondary sources reporting on them); that's it—nothing else matters.
Finally, what's especially ridiculous is like the previous editor wrote, we're ultimately talking about a "Infobox micronation" template being used here. Why would there be a problem with a micronation article using an infobox made specifically for it? What other infoboxes should it be using if not the one tailor-made for it? Getsnoopy (talk) 20:11, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While it would be a good thing if Wikipedia articles on 'micronations' made their unrecognised (and almost always entirely fictitious) status clear in the lede, there have been consistent efforts to prevent this (see e.g. this edit, and the edit summary [9]). And in any case, as I wrote above, it shouldn't be necessary to have to read an article to discover that one is being misled by the accompanying infobox. As for comparisons between Taiwan (population 24 million) and Liberland (population zero), I'd have to suggest the numbers speak for themselves. This isn't about diplomatic recognition, this is about entirely imaginary entities which have none of the attributes of a nation state at all. No population. No infrastructure. No economy. Nothing. Objectively, almost all are little more than websites with delusions of grandeur. Describing them as 'unrecognised' anythings is of itself misleading. They aren't 'unrecognised'. They are fictitious. Taiwan isn't. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:09, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If there are problems with editors not including the per-verifiable-reliable-sources unrecognized status of a micronation in the lede, that seems like a content dispute matter about the lede rather than a policy question about infobox use. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 21:27, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If people would actually address the policy question I have described here, rather than looking for ways to avoid it, we'd maybe get somewhere. I have so far seen nobody offer any sort of explanation as to why any infobox (on anything) should be allowed to present fringe and/or fictional promotional bullshit as if it is objective fact. That is what I am objecting to. Not because of the name of the infobox. And not because of the presence or absence of words elsewhere in the article. The 'information' in the infobox is misinformation. It violates core Wikipedia principles. Or if it doesn't please explain why. AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:37, 6 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You haven't satisfactorily explained how the information is misinformation. No one would actually be misled by the claim that Vít Jedlička is the president of Liberland, for example. Micronations are "made up", but so are all nations. Removing the infobox just makes the relevant information harder for our readers to find. Elli (talk | contribs) 04:29, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ditto; I couldn't have phrased it better. In the same way that the article on Middle-earth has an infobox that makes a bunch of claims without every one of those claims being prefixed with Warning: this is a fictitious claim, infoboxes about nations (whether micro- or not) do the same thing. The topic of the article might be fiction per se (but then again, all nations are fictitious like you said), but that doesn't matter; what matters is within the realm of that topic, whether the claims being made are true. This applies to literally every article that is about a human construct. Getsnoopy (talk) 06:48, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Micronations are "made up", but so are all nations." This is exactly the facile drivel that has blighted the topic for so long. Yes, nations-states are social constructs. That doesn't make them all equivalent under Wikipedia policy. Or under common sense. Try getting through US immigration with a Liberland passport, using the same arguments. You'd probably do as well by proclaiming yourself a Sovereign Citizen and citing Admiralty Law. Social constructs become real things, when people sufficient people collectively act on them. And, in the case of nation states, when they have the power to back it up. That's what a state is. That is how one recognises one. Not something that people believe should be one, but one with the means to enforce such a belief. The United States is a social construct. The USS Nimitz isn't. If people want to concoct a fantasy world where the existence of the Nimitz doesn't come into such questions, good for them. Just don't do it on Wikipedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:29, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think you're flogging a straw man there. No-one is saying "Micronations are indistinguishable from internationally recognised countries". They are saying "There is no problem in stating the uncontroversial facts about a micronation using the same template as a country, provided that the infobox is clear about the status of the purported micronation". For what it's worth I wouldn't mind using Infobox: Country for Gondor or Narnia either, provided that it was entirely clear in the infobox what the status of the thing being described was. (I think it's also worth mentioning Transnistria, South Ossettia, SMOM, Northern Cyprus, even Taiwan against the idea that it's entirely clear and undisputed what is and isn't a country.) TSP (talk) 12:02, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So how exactly is the infobox here "clear about the status of the purported micronation"? [10] The only indication in the infobox is the word 'micronation'. Add 'unrecognised', it gets removed (and the same thing has happened repeatedly in the article lede for that matter). And the arguments are almost always the same 'all nations are social constructs', 'it is all sourced' (it is, to the people promoting it), 'it says micronation so that makes it clear' (which it doesn't, since expecting readers to know what 'micronation' is supposed to mean isn't appropriate in a general-purpose encyclopaedia). And round and round it goes. Any excuse to make these fictions look more credible than any legitimate application of Wikipedia policy would permit. It's been going on for years. It is systematic. And in some cases (e.g. Liberland) it is being done by people with a direct financial interest in plugging their imaginary territory, along with associate cryptocurrencies and the rest. These things matter. They aren't just concoctions for entertainment. Not while e.g. the Government of Egypt has had to put out warnings about social media posts plugging 'Liberland' as a destination for emigration. [11] Wikipedia is being used to spread disinformation, for profit. And those being profited from are in such cases the most vulnerable, and worst place to take the loss. We don't plug snake oil. We don't plug Sovereign Citizen 'Admiralty Law'. Why are we plugging 'micronations'? How are they any different? AndyTheGrump (talk) 12:42, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's interesting that you mention "snake oil". The page for Medical uses of silver does have an infobox for colloidal silver, and there is an infobox on the Bates Method page. As with micronations, I don't quite see how summarizing information in an infobox constitutes "plugging", as you say. We aren't plugging books, politicians, or tropical storms by summarizing their data in infoboxes. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 16:45, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then that's a totally different thing. I certainly was never against adding the word "Unrecognized" in the Infobox because it's right there in the lead of the article; it would be silly for someone to be against putting that information in the Infobox. That's an entirely separate point from whether the Infobox per se should exist, let alone on all micronation articles. This seems like a case of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Getsnoopy (talk) 19:01, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • It's very clear that AndyTheGrump has a problem with micronations. There is nothing wrong with that. What however is a problem is the battleground attitude displayed above in attempting to impose that point of view on Wikipedia articles in multiple ways. We are not "plugging" micronations any more than we are "plugging" South Ossetia, Taiwan, Microsoft Windows, Book of Genesis, Kim Kardashian, Al-Qaida, Church of Scientology, Sovereign Military Order of Malta or anything else by having an article on them. If the subject is notable then we should have a neutral, factual article about it and there is no problem with having an infobox on that article. Which infobox to use is dependent entirely on which is best suited to display the appropriate information, nothing else. Thryduulf (talk) 13:51, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I also have a problem with the way micronations are promoted on Wikipedia. There is an ongoing effort to treat micronations as equivalent to real nation-states. Yes, some micronations are notable, in that there is abundant, independent coverage, as is the case for Sealand or the Conch Republic, where there are/were real-world events, but one was a pirate radio, and the other is an ongoing publicity campaign to promote tourism. Many other micronations are fantasies, with "coverage" being largely self-generated or no better than "mainstream" sources repeating press releases. Micronations have no legal existance, and, in most cases, no real-world presence, yet their proponents have repeatedly tried to present them as real nation-states. Donald Albury 14:02, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Donald Albury puts it well. Using the country infobox helps validate those who want to believe that this bullshit is real and makes it harder to edit in an already contentious area. SportingFlyer T·C 12:22, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So pointing out on WP:VPP that policy has been systematically violated is 'battleground behaviour' is it? Nice way to shut a conversation down... AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:02, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Articles cannot be exclusively sourced to self-published sources, that is entirely clear. If there are instances of that, fantastic, please propose them for deletion. But if they're being picked up by mainstream media, sorry, we follow that, even if you believe that they're just repeating press releases. I'm not clear which policy you think has been systematically violated here.
I absolutely agree that these articles need to be clear on the status of the institutions depicted, but I'm not really sure what that has to do with use of infoboxes. It kind of feels like you're trying to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS here? There's no evidence in the Egyptian article you posted above that people believing Liberland is a recognised country has any connection to to do with Wikipedia - especially not English Wikipedia, as it's stated that most of the discussion is in Arabic.
On how to make status clear, This seems fine? 'Micronation' in the heading; 'Status: Unrecognized micronation' in the body; 'Area claimed' and similar in describing attributes; 'Liberland ... is an unrecognised micronation' and 'Liberland has no diplomatic recognition from any recognized nation' in the article lead. Looks good to me. TSP (talk) 14:10, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The purpose of an infobox is to quickly summarize key facts for the reader, and I agree that use of the Nation infobox results in a misleading outcome. What we include in the template listing micronations includes failed historical rebellions, municipal publicity stunts, and Liberland-style entities. It is not clear to me that the sources treat all of these things as of a kind, as we do. An infobox for the third type of micronation should indicate at the top that it is about an "Unrecognized Micronation" - arguably a bit redundant, but "Micronation" is not a commonly understood term, and too easily confused with "Microstate". I think the relevant fields would be "Claimed by", to identify the people or group promoting its existence, "Dates claimed", for the period it was promoted, and "Area claimed", with a map. Attempts to fill in the other fields in the Nation infobox invariably result in an infobox that misleads the reader more than it informs by leaving the reader with an impression that this is a genuine state, and puts undue weight on aspects that are trivial in this conext, like flags, mottos, and currency, in a way that is out of step with the body of reliable sources.--Trystan (talk) 14:17, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If infobox country was forked to infobox micronation, or if infobox fictional location was used instead of infobox country, would the reader even know it? I don't think the name of the infobox matters to readers. Levivich (talk) 16:38, 7 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Sealand infobox below looks good to me. Using an {{infobox micronation}} with parameters that reflect the actual key components of micronations (which are not the same as the key components of countries), and that accurately label those components ("area claimed" etc) makes sense. Levivich (talk) 03:32, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No infobox. Using an infobox identical to that of actual countries is putting the micronation's unrecognized claims in wikivoice, which is not compliant with NPOV. Infobox country params were chosen because they are considered to be the most unifying, fundamental data and are reliably released through official government (or scholarly/NGO/tertiary) publications for all nations. They are inherently DUE because they are expected to be reported widely in high-quality RS.
These infobox country params for micronations can NOT be expected to have the same level of robust, official/RS sourcing, and in fact most would require attribution or context when in the article body. They are no more inherently fundamental to the topic than a glossary of trivia/maps at the end of any fantasy book, and there is certainly no expectation of uniform attention or treatment from sources across all of what we call "micronations". JoelleJay (talk) 00:43, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I can think of nothing more fundamental to a micronation than claims of location, area, population, founder(s) and leader(s) (flag(s) are also common to both but not essential to either) - i.e. the same information as for countries. Infoboxes, whether for country or micronation, simply state in wikivoice what the verifiable claims are, not how truthful or generally accepted they are. Absolutely all of your objections can be overcome by simply noting clearly in the article lead and infobox that the subject is a micronation - and we already do that. We even wikilink the term "micronation" so that those who are unfamilar with it can learn. Thryduulf (talk) 01:04, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • 2 questions (not directed at any specific editor)… 1) Which parameters currently included in the country infobox would we have to remove if we created a separate micro-nations infobox? and 2) What parameters would we have to add if we were to create a separate micro-nations infobox? Blueboar (talk) 01:19, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
An infobox treats the micronation as if such details are always reasonable to report at all. If a given detail would simply be primary-sourced trivia that doesn't belong in the body of the article, we should not be emphasizing it in the infobox. Different micronations will have different amounts and quality of sourcing for any of their claimed attributes; even if those attributes are verifiable, they may be nothing more than fancruft with strictly in-universe relevance to the topic. And yet if a parameter can be filled it will be. The fact that "micronations" is so similar to "microstates" just makes an infobox even more misleading. JoelleJay (talk) 01:43, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If information isn't covered in secondary sources, aren't the policies for talking about that WP:N and WP:V? I don't really understand what's being asked for. If there isn't verifiable and due information that is due and can be summarized in an infobox, then an infobox can be foregone. If there is verifiable and due information in the body that can be summarized in an infobox, then an infobox is fine and even appropriate. Existing policies seem plenty sufficient, and I don't see a need for some explicit change in policy specifying micronation topics. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 02:24, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Editors very frequently see infoboxes as forms to fill in with anything remotely verifiable regardless of how relevant or BALASP it is to the topic. JoelleJay (talk) 04:58, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then the “form” should only have fields that are “relevant to the topic” for the editors to fill in. What would those fields be for a micro-nation? Blueboar (talk) 12:31, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Off the top of my head and in no particular order:
  • Founder(s)
  • Location(s)
  • Capital(s)
  • Area
  • Population
  • Dates active
  • Website
  • Leaders
  • Form of government
  • Flag
  • Anthem
  • Motto
  • Official language(s)
Not every micronation has all of those things, they are all relevant (when they can be reliably sourced) for the ones that do. This is wholly a subset of the parameters of template:Infobox country and almost(?) all the ones that aren't included are things that (afaik) no micronation has (things like GDP, Gini, driving side, cctld, ISO codes, international calling code, patron saint, etc) so can't be included regardless of whether the parameter exists or not. Thryduulf (talk) 13:11, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In the past there has been a similar debate about the amount of detail to add to churches. From the introduction to {{Infobox church}}: Churches vary from small chapels to large cathedrals; from corrugated iron sheds to architectural masterpieces of international importance. This template has to be adaptable to the worship locations of all religious denominations and as a consequence, it has many parameters. It is therefore important that editors exercise discretion in selecting an appropriate number of parameters. If the infobox for a particular church becomes excessive WP:BOLD applies and less significant parameters should be removed. Could a similar caveat to the talk page be applied here? We don't need more templates, we need more selective use of them. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 14:34, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If a given detail would simply be primary-sourced trivia that doesn't belong in the body of the article, we should not be emphasizing it in the infobox An infobox summarises the body of the article. If something is not in the body of the article, for whatever reason, then it shouldn't be in the infobox. Whether something is "trivia" is a matter of subjective opinion, if editors disagree then seek consensus on the talk page, seeking additional input (e.g. WP:30) if necessary. Whether something is primary sourced or not is irrelevant - primary sources are entirely unproblematic (and sometimes desirable) for simple factual information and WP:ABOUTSELF material (which covers most of what infoboxes cover). Secondary sources are required to demonstrate notability, but if the topic isn't notable it shouldn't have an article (with or without an infobox), if a topic is notable enough for an article then there is no reason for it not to have an infobox. Thryduulf (talk) 02:42, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is put better than I could've said it. I'm inclined to Thryduulf's sense of the matter. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 02:47, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I am arguing that which "simple factual and ABOUTSELF" material is actually encyclopedic enough for an infobox is far too variable and inconsistently relevant for micronations. There is plenty of factual, verifiable-in-RS info available for almost all members of some groups that still doesn't make it into infobox params because editors have determined it is not vital info on that topic. Like an actor's eye or hair color. Why shouldn't the considerations that led to those facts being excluded from a particular infobox be repeated here, for a group where it is not clear if any parameters are expected to be integral details for many members? A micronation's "national anthem" could have the same broad sourcing as that of a real country, or it could exist in name only sourced to an offhand comment in an interview and not actually represent a real song. JoelleJay (talk) 04:54, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your problem is not with infoboxes, it is a content dispute with other editors. The way to resolve a content dispute regarding what should be in a specific infobox is to discuss the content with other editors at the article concerned and then abide by the consensus reached. Trying to remove infoboxes from all micronation articles because you disagree with the content of some of them is exactly the same as, and exactly as inappropriate as, trying to remove infoboxes from all articles about actors because you think eye colour and height are trivia that doesn't belong on Wikipedia. Thryduulf (talk) 10:47, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether something is primary sourced or not is irrelevant - primary sources are entirely unproblematic (and sometimes desirable) for simple factual information and WP:ABOUTSELF material (which covers most of what infoboxes cover). The article still needs to comply with WP:ASPECT. The information given prominence in the infobox doesn't need to be merely verifiable, but should be presented in a way that "treats each aspect with a weight proportional to its treatment in the body of reliable, published material on the subject." For micronations, I think the fields that would generally be emphasized by sources are who promoted it, where it was claimed, and when it was claimed. Everything else, including the purported structure of its government, population, etc. is either not likely to meet WP:ASPECT or requires too much qualification and explanation to be easily summarized in an infobox field.--Trystan (talk) 15:06, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Everything about your comment is a matter for consensus among editors at the talk page of the individual article, because what weight is due will be different in every case (for example, location is a more important aspect of Liberland than Independent State of Rainbow Creek). It's not a reason to remove infoboxes from micronationa generally. Thryduulf (talk) 17:32, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't suoport removing infoboxes from micronation articles. As set out in my comments above, I support the creation of an infobox for micronations that has fields and labels that are generally appropriate for micronations: "Claimed by", to identify the people or group promoting its existence, "Dates claimed", for the period it was promoted, and "Area claimed", with a map.--Trystan (talk) 18:56, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't see the need to fork the country infobox given that fields relevant to micronations are a complete subset, and there isn't any promotion happening, no NPOV violation, or any other reason why we need to batter readers over the head at every opportunity that micronations are not countries. If they are reading an article about a micronation, that explicitly says its a micronation, that links to the article explaining micronations, etc, then its already clear enough without needing to insult their intelligence or fear that "proper" countries might get infected, or whatever other reason there is for the hate displayed here. Thryduulf (talk) 22:40, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How do you think infobox parameters are chosen? JoelleJay (talk) 22:06, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Which parameters are chosen for the template or chosen to be filled in on a given article? For the former, template editors and maintainers tend to include all that are relevant for a substantial number in the relevant set. For the latter, a consensus of editors at the individual article. I don't get why you are asking that though? Thryduulf (talk) 22:33, 8 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
template editors and maintainers tend to include all that are relevant for a substantial number in the relevant set. I am arguing that we have not yet determined the set of "which parameters are relevant" for micronations. If we are to have infoboxes for them at all, the parameters need to be chosen based on what has actually been treated as "fundamental" info by independent secondary RS, not what we assume would be fundamental through analogy with real countries. JoelleJay (talk) 00:49, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Without wading into every side argument in this, I'm going to support the notion that this template should not be used for any fictitious country or for any alleged micronation that is not treated as a real country in numerous independent reliable sources. For disputed territories, break-away republics, occupied territories that were formerly countries, etc., there should be a criterion that it have (or at the time had - some of these will be articles on historical polities/nations) an actual functional government, not just a declaration of a rebellion or whatever. It's not WP's job to "label" things as countries/nations/states that the majority of pertinent RS do not treat that way.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  00:16, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Using infobox country does not label the subject as a country, see for example Sealand and Austenasia. Thryduulf (talk) 00:33, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is one of those issues where I really wish Wikipedia had some basic capacity for user testing. My strong suspicion is that a group of users shown those two infoboxes, and then asked to describe what they think those things are, would largely come away with the impression that they are real, functioning governments of places. Which would be clear evidence that the purpose of the infobox, to summarize the key features of the page's subject, is not being met.--Trystan (talk) 01:26, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
Do you really believe that most readers, if shown an infobox that contains this image, with this caption, would largely come away with the impression that they are real, functioning governments of places?
If so, then I suspect that user testing for the opening paragraphs would produce equally disheartening results. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:01, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Principality of Sealand
Unrecognized micronation
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
Claimed byPaddy Roy Bates, Michael Bates
Dates claimed1967 to present
Area claimedOffshore platform off the coast of England
In that one case, the picture might well give them pause. At the same time, the presentation of the infobox is saying, "Here are the key features you need to know about this topic: this place has a flag, a coat of arms, a motto, an anthem, it's a constitutional monarchy, it's led by a prince...". By contrast, an infobox that summarizes the actual key points of the topic, as framed in the article and supported by the sources, would leave little possibity for confusion. Those fields are not the same as the available fields in Infobox Country, and that is true in general for micronation articles.--Trystan (talk) 03:58, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You mean the presentation of the infobox, with "Micronation" at the top equal in size to the title and titles such as "purported currency", no population figure and a size of "approximately 1 acre" might might not leave people with enough of an impression of how much disdain for the subject they should have or they might confuse it for a "real" country? I don't buy it. Remember that NPOV applies to everything, regardless of how real or important we personally think something should be. Thryduulf (talk) 04:10, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Does the infobox I proposed convey disdain? I don't see how. I think a NPOV approach requires us to highlight the unrecognized status (and often complete lack of de facto existence) of these entities as their single most important defining feature, but that is to comply with WP:ASPECT. I personally don't feel disdain for them.
But I'm happy to turn to addressing the specific points you raise, and why I think the infobox I have proposed presents a more accurate, neutral, and clear summary of these topics than the current application of Infbox Country. "Micronation" as a term is uncommon, recent, and easily confused with microstate. Readers can't click on every link in an article, so I don't think adding the clarifying word "unrecognized" is undue. For size, yes, Sealand is small, but most micronations are not distinguishable from microstates based on size. I don't think it is reasonable for a reader to be expected to notice that population is missing from the Sealand infobox, or to make any inferences from that fact. The notion of what is meant by "population" for a micronation is inherently unclear (c.f. Glacier Republic), so I don't think that is a meaningful field for micronations generally. "Purported currency" is probably the best field label in the current application of Infobox Country, but from reviewing several micronation articles, I haven't found one where the purported currency is actually a key feature of the subject. Clarifying that the currency is "purported" is good, but then why are we not similarly qualifying the statement that the organizational structure and various other aspects are also merely "purported"?--Trystan (talk) 14:13, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It certainly comes across as disdainful even if thats not what you intended. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:47, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think WP:DUE applies here too. Putting the flag and crest of Sealand in an infobox isn't neutral. SportingFlyer T·C 14:58, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. I don’t necessarily disagree that an infobox could be useful on these articles, but mimicking the trade dress of legitimate country infoboxes serves to mislead. I also find it misleading to fill in the “Government” fields like “President” and “Minister of Finance”. The people self-appointed to these roles are not at all what readers will understand a president or minister to be. Words have meanings. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 16:09, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What about a generic "People" or "Key people" category like we use with companies? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:22, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Who are we to decide who is and who isn't a legitimate holder of a title? Once we start doing that for micronations we also have to start doing it for states with limited recognition, and for "proper" countries where there are disputed claims to the legitimate government. Thryduulf (talk) 16:29, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Honestly I don't think this is a slippery slope... Sealand is not Kosovo and this wouldn't establish any sort of consensus or precedent for those vastly different categories of articles. I don't think its a question of legitimacy, we can still have the full title in the article after all, but a question of due weight. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:44, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sealand is not Kosovo, but it is all one continuum from serious but non-notable micronations through to micronations that actually control some tiny territory (e.g. Sealand), to nations that control non-trivial territory but are unrecognised by everyone, to those that are recognised by a few, to those that are recognised by most. Then there are entities like the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and the Holy See, that don't neatly fit anywhere on the continuum. Thryduulf (talk) 16:59, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is my concern as well. Much of the thread has circulated around emphasizing what is "official" and "real", but the "official" and "real" are not nearly so uncontroversial as implied. If "unrecognised micronation" in the lede isn't clarifying enough, then as another example is "Native American reservation" too unclear and unusual a term for Navajo Nation? Someone without familiarity with of U. S. history might plausibly not know what reservation means in the context of nation-state sovereignty. Should the "infobox settlement" of the Navajo Nation not resemble that of a country so much, with its capital, government, population, GDP, etc.? P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 17:34, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Navajo Nation is a legally-defined entity whose governance and land claims are recognized by the US. There is no similarity here between it and an micronations which by definition do not have legal recognition. JoelleJay (talk) 23:01, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Except some micronations do have some legal recognition, as noted elsewhere in this thread. Thryduulf (talk) 01:12, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where are these examples of micronations with legal recognition? Note that diplomatic recognition is limited to sovereign states. JoelleJay (talk) 03:51, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Sovereign state" is not black and white. For example, Libreland has recognition from Somaliliand, which has recognition from Taiwan, which has recognition from multiple indisputably sovereign states. The Sealand article claims "de-facto recognition" from the UK and Germany. Where do you draw the line? Thryduulf (talk) 11:12, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Just a note that whole Taiwan extends legal and other forms of recognition to Somaliland they do not extend diplomatic recognition. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:31, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that the Navajo Nation has no diplomatic recognition but does have legal recognition. No matter how hard you try, it is not simple. Thryduulf (talk) 19:26, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I draw the line at "most recent sources call this a micronation"! It's not that hard. JoelleJay (talk) 18:41, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Note that legal and diplomatic recognition are completely different things, take for example Taiwan which enjoys legal recognition from far more counties than it enjoys diplomatic recognition. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:27, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No it is not a continuum, the cutoff for what is a micronation is its designation as a micronation in RS. No one here is arguing about anything other than micronations, so entities that have not been widely described as micronations are irrelevant. However, the diversity you note among what have been classed as micronations is precisely why the country infobox is inappropriate to use, as there is too much variation in coverage and topic relevance of most of the parameters. JoelleJay (talk) 23:09, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The point is that what is a micronation and what isn't is not black and white. There is no more variation among micronations than there is among countries and other entities that don't fit neatly into either category. Thryduulf (talk) 01:14, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Legal recognition as a state by sovereign states" is pretty black and white. And there certainly is far more variation among micronations in whether any particular infobox parameter can be filled and sourced to IRS coverage at all, let alone coverage demonstrating it is a fundamental aspect of the micronation. JoelleJay (talk) 03:57, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Legal recognition as a state by sovereign states is very much not black and white - see the lead of Sovereign state. Everything else is irrelevant to whether there should be an infobox and if so what it should be called as explained by multiple people multiple times in this discussion already. Thryduulf (talk) 11:17, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This doesn’t need to be complicated. If reliable sources don’t treat it as a real country, then us treating it as a real country would be undue promotion of a fringe perspective. The existence of a continuum does not seem to prevent sources from clearly distinguishing the things at the opposite ends of the continuum. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 11:25, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Firstly, what is the objective definition of a "real country"? Secondly, explain how us including information in an infobox (but not the article) about a "non-real" country is promotion but including the same information about a "real" unrecognised country isn't. Thryduulf (talk) 12:47, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suggest that a real country is whatever reliable sources treat as a real country. We don’t need to get into any deep epistemological debate here - we just need to follow the sources. The due weight of reliable sources clearly treat micronations as something quite distinct from what the majority of readers will recognise as countries, and also distinct from other types of disputed regions.
I mentioned trade dress above because even completely factual information can serve to mislead if packaged in a form with a strong association with a thing that is clearly different. This is one of the reasons we wouldn’t use Template:Chembox on Dilithium (Star Trek). Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 13:21, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Exactly this. WP is not the arbiter of what is and isn't a country, let alone the extent of its legitimacy. Hence, it refers to them using neutral language and just presents the facts as they are: "hey, it's a country, but an unrecognized one according to so and so reliable sources." Nothing more, nothing less. I'm not sure why this discussion is veering toward "what will users think? will they think it's a real country?"
Just for context, Liberland has full diplomatic recognition from Somaliland, which is an unrecognized (though not micro-) nation itself but has a large land area with actual people living in it and such. It is an insult to all the people living there and their government (which, mind you, operates in basically exactly the same way as does that of Kosovo) to say that "WP doesn't think Liberland is a country, so that's what's real" when they obviously thought it is and decided to enter into relations with it. Getsnoopy (talk) 19:23, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No one is saying WP should decide what is or isn't a country. We are going by what the sources say, and if they designate an entity as a micronation then that means we do too. Micronations are definitionally not legally-recognized by sovereign states and thus are definitionally not classified the same as any of the other types of non-sovereign polities that have been mentioned so far. From our own article: Micronations are aspirant states that claim independence but lack legal recognition by world governments or major international organisations.[5][6] Micronations are classified separately from states with limited recognition and quasi-states, nor are they considered to be autonomous or self-governing as they lack the legal basis in international law for their existence.[7] While some are secessionist in nature, most micronations are widely regarded as sovereignty projects that instead seek to mimic a sovereign state rather than to achieve international recognition, and their activities are almost always trivial enough to be ignored rather than challenged by the established nations whose territory they claim
Sources do not treat them as "real" countries and neither should we. JoelleJay (talk) 23:23, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is my opinion that we will have another shouting match about the definition of a micronation if Liberand manages to get diplomatic recognition from the Javier Milei Government in Argentina, who had previously vocally supported Liberland.
Furthermore, if you search Liberland on YouTube and set it to show recent results, you will find dozens of videos of people settling Liberland starting from mid-August 2023. At the very least, one can see the Liberlanders permanently parked a houseboat on there, and selling accommodation for $100/night on said houseboat. (Check their website.) This brings the question, does Liberland really fit in the definition of a micronation presented above? 2001:4430:4141:7BBE:0:0:81D:C0A4 (talk) 03:57, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If Argentina formally recognizes Liberland and sources state it is no longer a micronation, we can revisit its classification on wikipedia. JoelleJay (talk) 04:02, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here are some items related to how Croatia views Liberland, for future reference:
Document UP/I-216-04-23-01/1873 (expulsion of an EU national): “[Vít Jedlička] as the creator of the idea and the project of the parastatal entity [of Liberland]… . ”
Document: NK UP/I-216-04-23-04/192 (expulsion of a non-EU national): “The given area is claimed by a Czech citizen Vít Jedlička as the state of Liberland and the proponents of the parastatal entity…” 2001:4430:4121:E806:0:0:DE5:F0AC (talk) 04:10, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The following link contains the reply of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after a Liberlander letter-writing effort in 2023. One can say that this means that Croatia views Liberland a mere trivial project, or on the flip side that it warrants enough attention for an official reply. 2001:4430:4121:E806:0:0:DE5:F0AC (talk) 04:18, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I completely disagree. When an organisation/similar has a visual emblem, displaying it in the article is absolutely DUE, and the infobox is a suitable place for that where one exists. Thryduulf (talk) 16:18, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When the organization is fictional, using visual emblems make it look like the organization actually exists. SportingFlyer T·C 09:42, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Firstly micronations are not fictional, but even if they were that wouldn't be a reason not to display their emblem in an infobox, see e.g. Umbrella Corporation, S.H.I.E.L.D., Department of Extranormal Operations, H.A.M.M.E.R., SPECTRE, ... Thryduulf (talk) 11:24, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those aren't WP:FRINGE though. WP:PROFRINGE clearly applies here. SportingFlyer T·C 13:22, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why would documenting the existence of an unrecognized micronation and its visual logo be promotion? It seems like a mainstream point of view that Sealand and Liberland exist as human phenomena, and they have coverage in relevant news media. The views that are fringe are their claims of sovereignty, and the pages don't promote those claims of sovereignty; the pages report that they have claimed sovereignty and report those claims have gone unrecognized. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 13:54, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Policies discourage this: if the only statements about a fringe theory come from the inventors or promoters of that theory, then "What Wikipedia is not" rules come into play. This would include flags and seals, I would imagine. SportingFlyer T·C 15:44, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the existence of a micronation is unestablished by RS, then the quoted policy applies and we shouldn't have an article about it. If RS confirm the existence of the micronation, even if it's only as a micronation, then its graphical symbols should be usable even if they are only based on the micronation's own data. Animal lover |666| 18:37, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On what grounds? WP:FRINGE explicitly disallows that. SportingFlyer T·C 18:56, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
FRINGE does not disallow the neutral reporting of factual information about a fringe topic. Using an organisation's own symbols on an article about that organisation that explicitly puts the status of that organisation into context (and having "unrecognised micronation" in big letters does do that) is neutrally reporting the factual information about that organisation. Including such symbols in other articles will be UNDUE in almost every case I can immediately think of (List of micronations being an exception) but that's a different matter.
NAMBLA is a notable organisation that promotes a fringe POV (that could lead to real-world harm, unlike anything to do with micronations), yet there is no suggestion that using their logo in the infobox about them violates either guideline you quote (or the WP:NPOV policy to which it relates). Indeed not using an organisation's logo (where there are no venerability or copyright issues) could be argued to be contrary to NPOV. Thryduulf (talk) 19:45, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oh come on, NAMBLA's logo is infamous and widely reported in RS. In contrast, the various details and visual paraphernalia that can be associated with micronations in general rarely get mentioned anywhere besides the micronation's own website/publications. JoelleJay (talk) 20:04, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Mentions/inclusions of the flag of Liberland in reliable sources include: CNN, The Japan Times, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, EUObserver, and Vice. Thryduulf (talk) 21:16, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I said in general, for the full set of params, not "specifically the logo of arguably the second-most famous micronation". JoelleJay (talk) 21:28, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So what does "in general" mean then? What is the objective standard that defines when including a micronations symbols is "fringe" and when it isn't? Thryduulf (talk) 21:30, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
whoever added the infobox proposal to the right, i'd support that. restore a box, but redesign it so it doesn't copy the nation infobox style, layout, and fields. ValarianB (talk) 16:14, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think it doesn't really matter, tbh, as long as the infobox conveys the info, the status of the entity in question. Selfstudier (talk) 17:07, 9 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interesting issue, and one I had not previously considered. It appears to me that the essence of the discussion is whether the decision to use the country infobox at all is effectively a communicating non-neutral editorial viewpoint. I think that on balance I mostly fall in line with those concerned that the country infobox serves to give an inaccurrate impression of micronations. The modified box modeled on this page would be acceptable. I share the concerns voiced here that the infobox by its very nature is intended to summarize and convey the essential facts of the topic. For micronations, the most essential fact is that it lacks status recognized by any other entity and the box should instantly make this apparent to the reader. Xymmax So let it be written So let it be done 15:32, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It’s simpler than that … having an infobox in an WP article is simply a way to provide information about the topic in an organized format… it does not confer “legitimacy” on that topic.
That said… when it comes to micronations, while I do think having some information presented in infobox format is useful, I agree that there is a valid discussion to be had over what information should be provided in that infobox. Blueboar (talk) 15:43, 10 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Agree with the point that several other editors that "micronation" should almost always be prefaced with "undrecognized." I don't think it's a fair expectation that a general readership inherently knows the difference between a micronation and the European microstates.

On infoboxes: like it or not, they are perceived a certain way by the general WP readership in my opinion. That perception being that it's the bare facts of a subject, and the ultimate form of wikivoice. So real care needs to be taken into consideration on what information gets included. I picked a random micronation I remember reading about, Principality of Hutt River, which also happened to be one of the more "real" ones before it was ended. I think it's overall okay at presenting information neutrally, but are things like an anthem, motto, ethnic groups, time zone essential to understanding an Australian's oddball tax evasion scheme (with apologies to the memory of HM Prince Leonard)? At best it's crufty, and at worst it adds to the presentation of the subject as "real" as the general readership perceives it. Seltaeb Eht (talk) 00:52, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I wonder why the |status= parameter isn't used more in these infoboxes. Something like |status = unrecognized micronation with links, or even a plain English summary like |status = failed attempt to start a new country would likely be appropriate. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:02, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Such is stating unrecognized or generally rejected claims as fact in the voice of Wikipedia. Should not be done. Infoboxes should only (explicitly or implicitly) include undisputed facts because they are too brief to include anything that needs explanatoin, calibration or attribution. North8000 (talk) 19:07, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Use Template:Infobox fictional location for micro "nations" just like we presently do with Land of Oz, Camelot, Gotham City and 556 other fictional countries. This useful template gives information for micro nation believers and aficionados while making it clear to the general reader an article is not describing a real country. If this bothers them, said "nations" can send their navies to San Francisco to bombard Wikimedia's offices.--A. B. (talkcontribsglobal count) 19:44, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Micronations are not fictional though, so that would be completely inappropriate. Thryduulf (talk) 19:46, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@North8000 so why do the infoboxes for places like Taiwan, Northern Cyprus and Guyana present statements about the country's area that are the subject of disputes? Thryduulf (talk) 19:49, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Inappropriate to use a different infobox or inappropriate to sortie their fleets and deploy their armies?
In any event, if they're real countries, they can get Interpol to arrest @AndyTheGrump for opening this libelous useful discussion. --A. B. (talkcontribsglobal count) 19:51, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is decidedly not NPOV to describe a non-fictional entity as fictional. Whether or not they are "real" countries (whatever that means) is not relevant - it is unarguable (at least in the cases I'm familiar with) that they claim to be countries and so we report those claims neutrally and report the status of those claims (i.e. who recognises them, etc) neutrally too. Thryduulf (talk) 19:57, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Thryduulf: Agree. And if that explanation / clarficiation / context won't fit in the info box, IMO the item should be left out of the info box. North8000 (talk) 21:05, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We don't put the explanation of the status of claims about/by "real" countries in their infoboxes, indeed we're far more explicit about the status of micronations in the infobox than we are about places like Cook Islands, Northern Cyprus, Ingushetia, Wa State, etc. Thryduulf (talk) 21:27, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Thryduulf: I would recommend changing all of those. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 21:03, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Then, per List of territorial disputes you should be recommending removing the area from the majority of "real" countries. Thryduulf (talk) 21:19, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Of course I don't have a recommendation that would be tidy. And degree of acceptence would also be a factor. But, as a note, specifying an area of the country is not directly weighing in on the disputes which affect the area.North8000 (talk) 21:32, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So if specifying disputed facts is not weighing in on the dispute for a "real" country, why is it for micronations? It is generally accepted as fact that Taiwan claims the area controlled by the PRC even though it doesn't have de facto control over that area, it is generally accepted as fact that Liberland claims the area not claimed by either Croatia or Serbia even though it doesn't have de facto control over that area, it is generally accepted as fact that the Hutt River Principality claimed 75km² of land on the Australian continent even though it is at best debatable whether it had any de facto control over that area, it is generally accepted as fact that Ukraine claims the area of Crimea even though it does not have de facto control over that area. The basis for the claims differ, as does who disputes them and why, but they are all disputed. Thryduulf (talk) 22:40, 12 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not pretending to have a tidy answer, I'm just discussing considerations. Let's say that somebody claims that Rhode Island is an independent country and not a part of the USA. If in the USA article it discussed the State of Rhode Island, that is a pretty clear claim that Rhode Island is a part of the USA. And if in the Rhode Island article, there is an an infobox titled "Republic of Rhode Island" that is a pretty clear implicit claim that it is a country. But if in the USA article, the the listed total area of the USA includes the area of Rhode Island, thast is not such a clear claim/statement that Rhode Island is a part of the USA. Sincerely, North8000 (talk) 02:48, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I support the idea that vanity projects do not deserve to be treated (and infoboxed) the same way as real states. The Banner talk 09:17, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Compare the infoboxes of Israel (a real country with recognition by most, but not all, UN members) and Principality of Hutt River (a micronation). The former has fields "Area" (with footnotes due to the territorial dispute) and "Currency", while the latter has "Area claimed" and "Purported currency". And the latter says "Micronation" at the top, which the former doesn't. Animal lover |666| 14:47, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Moving forward edit

Based on the above discussion, it looks like there may be a consensus, but a formal RFC would be needed to test that theory. Would the options of keeping Infobox Country and adopting the micronation infobox proposed above be suitable? Does anyone have any suggested changes to the proposed infobox first?--Trystan (talk) 14:57, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I would oppose changes, because it's simply not necessary (micronation infoboxes and articles already make everything perfectly clear while maintaining NPOV) and the proposed version is less useful - particularly the "claimed by" field makes it appear that the claimants were working in partnership whereas in reality one is the successor of the other. Thryduulf (talk) 15:37, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "claimed by" label should read "initiators", "proponents" or "founders" or something to that effect. A "claimed by" label can be read to suggest that the initiators are claiming the territory for themselves, which not all of them do. Freetown Christiania for example, one of the only two or three micronations with real and lasting cultural significance, was very emphatically not "claimed by" anyone.
Renaming "area claimed" to "location" would generally lead to shorter descriptions and easier consensus.
A "type" label of sorts describing the raison d'être might be worth considering. Freetown Christiania was an intentional community; this is the most important thing to know about the project besides its location and approximate extent in time. Kugelmugel was an art project. The Hutt River Province was a political statement. The Kingdom of Elleore is a private leisure activity. The OWK is a business venture. The raison d'être is generally the most important property of any of the handful of micronations that actually matter. (The only possible exception I can think of is Sealand, whose most important property may have been the fact that it had a colourable (if ultimately insufficient) claim to independence.)
I believe it is important to make a clear distinction, on the infobox level, between micronations with real political or cultural impact on the one hand, business enterprises that just barely meet technical notability requirements on the other. People have already pointed out that many readers absolutely will read a country box as a low-grade certificate of legitimacy and that it therefore is a stealth NPOV violation to stick normal country boxes on sleazebag affinity scams like Liberland. A dedicated micronation box will help; a type label of some sort will help further. GR Kraml (talk) 16:07, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Proponents" and "Location" sound good to me. I agree that a "Type" field would be useful, as the subjects we describe as micronations variously include failed rebellions and self-described publicity stunts. In some cases, "Type" might be difficult to determine from available sources, but it could always be left blank on a case-by-case basis. What would you suggest for what I had as "Dates claimed"? Something like "Dates promoted"? Or just "Dates", but then it is potentially unclear whether we are talking about the period during which it was promoted or the period of its de facto existence (if any).--Trystan (talk) 17:33, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree that "type" would have to be left blank in some cases and I don't mind.
Either "dates claimed" or "dates promoted" should be fine. "Dates claimed" doesn't have the legal ambiguity issue that "claimed by" has, and if you're not the product of a formal claim of some sort you're probably not a micronation.
I agree that "dates" alone is bad. In micronations that have permanent residents or that come with long-lasting non-resident communities attached to them, the community as such can (and often does) start earlier and end later than the claim to sovereignty. GR Kraml (talk) 18:23, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Here are the different types of infobox side-by-side (hopefully my bodged formatting works, please fix it if it doesn't).

Infobox country with
micronation parameter
Infobox country without
micronation parameter
Proposed custom infobox
Principality of Sealand
Motto: E Mare Libertas (Latin)
"From the sea, Freedom"[1]
Anthem: "From the sea, Freedom"
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
Organizational structureConstitutional monarchy[2]
• 1967–2012
Paddy Roy Bates
• 2012–present
Michael Bates[3]
• Declared
2 September 1967;
56 years ago
Area claimed
• Total
0.004 km2 (0.0015 sq mi)
(approx. 1 acre)
Purported currencySealand dollar
Principality of Sealand
Motto: E Mare Libertas (Latin)
"From the sea, Freedom"[1]
Anthem: "From the sea, Freedom"
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
GovernmentConstitutional monarchy[2]
• 1967–2012
Paddy Roy Bates
• 2012–present
Michael Bates[3]
• Declared
2 September 1967;
56 years ago
• Total
0.004 km2 (0.0015 sq mi)
(approx. 1 acre)
CurrencySealand dollar
Principality of Sealand
Unrecognized micronation
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
Claimed byPaddy Roy Bates, Michael Bates
Dates claimed1967 to present
Area claimedOffshore platform off the coast of England

Given the clear distinction between the first two, and how much clearer they are, I simply don't buy the argument that people will confuse it for a "real" country. Labels, etc. can be tweaked if necessary (I actually prefer the header presentation of the proposed box as it makes it clear "Micronation" is not part of the name), but there isn't any need for major changes or for wheels to be reinvented. Thryduulf (talk) 16:33, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No offense, but this comparison is a great illustration of why standard country boxes are out of place in micronation articles: they improperly amplify and foreground a bunch of meaningless trivia. The fact that Sealand purported to be a "constitutional monarchy" is vacuous considering that the royal family never ruled over anyone but themselves. The number of readers whose attention needs to be drawn to the fact that Sealand's purported currency was the Sealand dollar as opposed to the Sealand drachma is zero. The number of readers who will profit from being able to recognize the Sealand flag next time they see it in the wild is also zero. The list goes on.
It is objectively bad editing to needlessly front-load an article with irrelevant factlets. No infobox at all is better than an infobox whose main effect is pushing meaningful information further down the page. GR Kraml (talk) 17:49, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I agree entirely. Centering the trappings of countryhood, as in the first two examples, gives them undue weight. The flag, the anthem, the motto, the coat of arms… these are all calculated to confer legitimacy-by-association. Micronations are dressed up to look like a country, but this is essentially deceptive mimickry, and we shouldn’t participate, particularly for micronations that are enmeshed with shady cryptocurrencies. Calling the Sealand guy a “prince” is effectively taking a fringe claim at face value. Yes, I know there’s no mathematical objective definition of a prince, but just because something is a social construct doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean something. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 23:17, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Whether or not a micronation's claims are deceptive mimickry or are good faith assertions (that the rest of the world disagrees with) seems like a determination for reliable secondary sources, and something to be summarized on a case by case basis at each article. If reliable secondary sources report that someone is the unrecognized president or prince of an unrecognized micronation, how is it "participating" for Wikipedia to summarize that information? Or will we go through the articles for biblical figures and say it's "deceptive mimickry" to note the probably-fictional Esther is identified in the Book of Esther as queen of Persia, or to list the Tomb of Job in Job's infobox? Is the Goncharov infobox "deceptive mimickry" despite the body-text reminders that it's a meme? Is it "deceptive mimickry" to report that the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest had a government type of "consensus decision-making with daily meeting"s when it was never recognized as a "real" settlement, government, country, etc.?
I think these are fully contextualized, and it's possible for micronations to be contextualized as well. It is not Wikipedia's purpose to decide what is "real" and "not real"; Wikipedia summarizes reliable sources. If reliable sources say an unrecognized micronation has an unrecognized currency, or an unrecognized prince, etc., we summarize that. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 23:50, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I completely agree with P-Makoto. It is not Wikipedia's job to say what is and isn't "dressed up like a country", "deceptive mimicry" or whether any given person, organisation or thing is "enmeshed with shady cryptocurrencies". We report what reliable sources say about the subject. Including a flag in the infobox at Azawad, Rojava, West Papua or Islamic State is not "participating" in anything, it's not "deceptive mimicry" or any other epithet you wish to denigrate the subject with. Anything else is a gratuitous failure of NPOV. Thryduulf (talk) 00:11, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why do policies like WP:UNDUE exist? That's right, because the choice to include something is unavoidably a choice to give credence to it. To pretend not to understand this is to pretend to be epistemologically illiterate. The path to making Mr. Sealand's claim to princeliness "fully contextualized" begins with not investing it with misleading distinction. GR Kraml (talk) 00:12, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please explain what is "misleading" about presenting the facts neutrally. Thryduulf (talk) 00:17, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you saying you disagree with WP:UNDUE? If so, why? GR Kraml (talk) 00:21, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No. I'm saying that what is and isn't DUE can only be determined at the individual article level, that including things that are due is not giving it credence, engaging in "deceptive mimicry" (or anything else of that nature), and that everything discussed here (flags, coat of arms, etc) is potentially DUE on some articles about micronations. Thryduulf (talk) 00:24, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If they're DUE for some micronations, they can be included elsewhere in the article, just like any other info that we don't put in the infobox. There is no indication any of these items is actually a core aspect for most of these topics, as evaluated by IRS sources. It is not NPOV to treat artistic endeavors or corporate promotion or cryptocurrency vehicles or protest communes or profit ventures as if we assume they all occupy a single point along the spectrum of "nationhood" and are all inherently likely to even have any of the above extra features from infobox country let alone place the same meaning on them.
Micronations are much more defined by what they are not than by what they are, which makes anything beyond a barebones infobox unacceptable. JoelleJay (talk) 02:41, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thryduulf remains more persuasive in making a case that hews close to Wikipedia policies. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 02:47, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not according to the majority of commenters here, nor the text of INFOBOXPURPOSE the purpose of an infobox: to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article (an article should remain complete with its summary infobox ignored, with exceptions noted below). The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose, allowing readers to identify key facts at a glance. Of necessity, some infoboxes contain more than just a few fields; however, wherever possible, present information in short form, and exclude any unnecessary content., nor other guideline criteria like Is the field of value? How important is the field to the articles that will use the infobox? Is it summary information, or more extended detail that may be better placed within the body of an article? and Will the field be relevant to many of the articles that will use the infobox? If the field is relevant to very few articles, it should probably not be included at all. and INFOBOXUSE The meaning given to each infobox part should be the same across instances of that type of infobox. Nor accessibility guidance that states Pages with excessive icons can also cause loading problems for some people. JoelleJay (talk) 03:16, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The majority of commenters here have expressed opinions that (in whole or in part) directly contradict core content policies and so the majority of their comments can and will be disregarded by whomever closes this discussion. Everything else you've written is either stating things that are not in dispute (the infobox should summarise key facts that are already in the article) or completely irrelevant (e.g. there are a grand total of zero icons across all three infoboxes). Thryduulf (talk) 03:22, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What I quote directly concerns which parameters to put in an infobox template, which clearly should require some consideration beyond "if it's an important aspect for recognized countries it must be a key fact for micronations". And I'd love to know which "core content policies" mandate that infobox country or any infobox must be in certain classes of articles!
icons encompasses any small images – including logos, crests, coats of arms, seals, flags. JoelleJay (talk) 04:05, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I've explained many times in this discussion, NPOV requires we treat subjects neutrally, which in this instance means treating a micronation and a non-micronation with the same coverage in reliable sources equally not going out of our way to denigrate micronations based on some editors' beliefs. If we have infoboxes for countries (and we do) then we need to have the same type of infobox for all countries, including unrecognised ones, and each infobox should have the fields relevant to that subject. There is no difference between what is relevant to micronations and what is relevant other nations (as classes). What fields should be populated on a given article can only be determined at the level of the individual article, because that's the only level at which you can determine due weight.
Regarding logos and crests, either they are fine accessibility wise on articles about all countries or they are problematic on articles about all countries. There are no "small images" in either infobox, and in terms of total images from the page title to the top of the references section (including prose and infobox) there are 8 images on the Sealand article and over 50 (plus an audio widget) on the Kosovo article. Of the two the Sealand isn't going to be the one with accessibility concerns. Thryduulf (talk) 04:27, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are saying NPOV requires us to structure our articles on micronations as if they were legally recognized countries and, therefore, requires us to give them the same infoboxes because there's no difference in what is relevant to them. WOW.
You don't think it's just a little bit OR to consider, automatically, the thousands of online-only micronations (like this "hypothetical project" formed by some teenagers in the 90s, or this one designated as an extremist social network), or a one-man effort to become a new province under another country's rule, or advertising campaigns, or projects with the stated intent to start a micronation via crowdfunding, or admitted scams, or a documentary project with no intent to declare independence, or a "political and constitutional simulation" by law students, or an underwater libertarian paradise proposal/scam; or entities primarily known as art projects or cryptowebsites or migratory fraud schemes or non-profits or neighborhoods that happen to also be called "micronations", as being on equal footing with each other let alone comparable to "other countries", inherently deserving the same emphases and display of regalia? All because some RS or an editor characterized them as micronations, a term that has no basis in international law or shared criteria other than "not legally recognized by sovereign states"? You think any of this supported by NPOV? Really? JoelleJay (talk) 06:38, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
NPOV requires we treat subjects neutrally, which in this instance means treating a micronation and a non-micronation with the same coverage in reliable sources equally I think what you’re missing is that micronations and non-micronations don’t receive the same coverage. Consider, for example, this Wired article about Liberland: [12] which takes a skeptical tone, uses “country” (their scare quotes), and describes it as a “crypto project”. Or, this paper: [13] which ends with a quote that sums up the non-Sealand projects nicely: The rest of the virtual states do not have statehood, but only exploit the myth about it. They earn by selling souvenirs and coins, and at best they are a local landmark. The legal creation of new states by private people is no longer possible, and, therefore, the problem of virtual states is finally transferred to the virtual space, becoming one of the methods of conducting an entertainment Internet business. The myth of statehood has finally become a part of the digital civilization. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 08:21, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Or this one: Westarctica, Sancratosia, Slowjamastan, and other fake nations may have some things to teach real ones. We can ignore the title per WP:HEADLINE but the rest of the article does the job more than adequately: They replicate the symbols, documents, and acts of legitimate states. Micronations create flags, passports, and currency; establish constitutions; and hold elections or plan their lines of succession. and Their online citizenship applications have been known to accidentally deceive individuals who legitimately hope to immigrate. Framing micronations as the same type of thing as legitimate countries, when the sources go out of their way to explain why they are different, is not NPOV - it’s false balance. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 09:08, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Fine, one last time:
NPOV requires us not to take sides where there is a controversy. NPOV does not require us, and UNDUE expressly forbids us, to pretend there is a controversy where there isn't one. "Is Kosovo a country?" is a controversy. We are required to stay neutral on this. "Is the Kingdom of Elleore a country?" is not. We are required not to push the falsehood that the answer is up to meaningful debate.
In addition, as @JoelleJay has demonstrated, INFOBOXPURPOSE requires us to use infoboxes to summarize things that are key facts and to exclude any unnecessary content.
Readers come to any given article with the implicit assumption that the infobox will contain key facts, both because of the interface affordances involved and because this is what infoboxes do in every other article. They implicitly expect these key facts to be key in both senses: germane to understanding and contextualizing the subject on the one hand; well established and largely unassailable on the other. A picture of the flag of Liberland is neither: it tells you absolutely nothing useful; it's not even the flag they actually use; you would struggle to find so much as a single independent RS that clearly defines and describes it.
Actively lying to readers about the meaning and significance of what they are looking at strikes me as an NPOV violation of the first order. I mean seriously, if actively pushing all-but-unsourced random bullshit is not against the rules then what is. GR Kraml (talk) 08:55, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Hold on...what do you mean "Is the Kingdom of Elleore a country?" is not. We are required not to push the falsehood that the answer is up to meaningful debate. While you might have a point about Slowjamastan, micronations such as Liberland have been acknowledged and/or recognized by other nations (e.g., Somaliland, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Colombia, Malawi, and even Croatia/Serbia). And what Thryduulf is referring to is that UNDUE applies at the article level, so whether the country is notable enough to be written about on WP is determined by at that level. Once you've decided that an article is DUE, then it needs to have some content in it that justifies having the article in the first place. That is exactly what's going on here. And besides, it's frankly silly to suggest that content is DUE when it's in the body, but suddenly not when it's summarized into an infobox.
I'm not sure what you mean by A picture of the flag of Liberland is neither: it tells you absolutely nothing useful; it's not even the flag they actually use; you would struggle to find so much as a single independent RS that clearly defines and describes it.. That's literally the flag that is used by Liberland, and is sourced in NYT; I'm not sure what you're on about. And if flags of countries are not useful, then we should remove them from all country articles? Getsnoopy (talk) 00:00, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]'s frankly silly to suggest that content is DUE when it's in the body, but suddenly not when it's summarized into an infobox. Why would that be silly? Per MOS:INFOBOX, "...the purpose of an infobox: to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article..." Per WP:ASPECT, "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." It logically follows that aspects of a subject not treated as key facts in the body of reliable sources should not be presented as such by including them in an infobox.--Trystan (talk) 00:25, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Indeed, but what the key facts are about a given subject can only be determined at the level of the individual subject. Based on a skim of sources, the flag of Liberland seems just as important to the topic of Liberland as the flag of e.g. Myanmar is the to the topic of Myanmar and more important than e.g. the flag of the Islamic State is to the topic of the Islamic State. We have (seemingly uncontroversially) included the flags of both Myanmar and Islamic State in the infoboxes about those topics, so there is no justification for excluding the flag of Liberland in the infobox about Liberland. In contrast I'm uncertain whether the Grand Duchy of Avram even has a flag (it has a coat of arms which might also serve as the flag but that's unclear). Thryduulf (talk) 01:00, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Infoboxes are meant to hold key facts very common to a class of subjects, and which parameters to include when making a new infobox template necessarily requires looking at the class in general. The class of micronations is meaningfully distinguished, by secondary and tertiary RS, from all types of real countries.
We have numerous tertiary sources treating significant subsets of the real countries as a "complete" group (even when differences in sovereignty are noted and those members are separated from the main group), often accompanied by individual blurbs for each member of what those sources consider the most important facts for countries in general. This informs on which details are BALASP for countries in general and thus should go in the country infobox.
We do not have a solid body of RS treating substantial subsets of micronations as part of the same group as real countries. The variation among micronations is so substantial, and the appellation so informal and inconsistently applied, that any infobox aiming to represent key facts from IRS sources shared by most members of the class will be very small. JoelleJay (talk) 01:56, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, so that's a nonsense interpretation of DUE that doesn't warrant further discussion.
Something being verifiable in IRS does not make it a BALASP. Something receiving substantial coverage or description in IRS (which the flag does not receive whatsoever in the NYT article) does not necessarily make it BALASP. Something actually being BALASP for a page does not mean it should be in the infobox. And it certainly does not mean that thing should be a parameter for infoboxes in all pages of a certain class.
Whichever discussion determined the items that should be in the infobox for real countries decided that flags should be in there, probably because that's one of the standard pieces of info accompanying each country in academic/tertiary RS that address both the set as a whole and some details of each member. E.g. CIA Factbook. The same is not true for micronations. We do not have a comparably large body of high-quality tertiary RS, on micronations as a set, demonstrating which aspects of a micronation are considered fundamental. Almost every recognized country will have IRS sources discussing or at least describing its flag (and most other major parameters in the infobox). The same is not true for even every notable micronation, therefore being included in an infobox cannot be supported, per INFOBOX. JoelleJay (talk) 01:31, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's literally the flag that is used by Liberland, and is sourced in NYT; I'm not sure what you're on about. As I explain in this edit, the Liberlanders use the flags of Croatia, Serbia or Hungary in places where flags have actual significance, e.g. when the boats in their "official" "state fleet" need to be equipped with ensigns. Their videos are staged and edited to hide this fact, but they do.
They are generally very careful to avoid claiming sovereignty or nationhood in any context or forum where such claim could potentially matter. As the very same NYT article shows, for example, they do not challenge the presence of Croatian cops in "their" "country", nor do they attempt to evict the Croatian civilians who (continue to) use the beach for summertime leisure activities. Their web sites and communiqués keep going on about bona vacantia and whatnot, but when they get dragged to court for criminal trespass to land they meekly plead unrelated jurisdictional issues. The fact that the purported state of Liberland never, ever, under any circumstances actually uses its purported state flag is just one of the things that tell you they do not believe what they say they do.
And if flags of countries are not useful, then we should remove them from all country articles? Flags from real countries obviously are useful, but then again you know that, and you also know that nobody claims otherwise. GR Kraml (talk) 04:53, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't really see a clear distinction between the first two, just subtle wording differences. The side-by-side presentation convinces me that the proposed custom infobox is better for readers. Schazjmd (talk) 18:27, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
i like the 3rd one. the flags and coats of arms aren't real, toss em. ValarianB (talk) 18:37, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What a shocking disregard for NPOV (and WP:V). They are as "real" as any other coat of arms or flag. Thryduulf (talk) 18:42, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think the header "Unrecognized micronation" is a good change, but all else in the third infobox seems if anything a reduction of information. Why not have the flag? Recognized nation-state status seems hardly like the hurdle we expect for whether or not a logo is pertinent and informative. We don't require companies, sports teams, or NGOs to be sovereign before we include their imagery, flags, logos, etc. Why wouldn't a reader be interested in knowing what flag an unrecognized micronation flies, if it does fly one? P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 21:09, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed, the less trivia we emphasize in an infobox, the better. If a flag or coat of arms actually has significance in secondary sources then an image of it can be put in the article, it doesn't need to be an infobox parameter. And definitely agree with everything @GR Kraml said. JoelleJay (talk) 19:21, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The third infobox is clearly the best and minimises the amount of trivia proponents might be able to add. SportingFlyer T·C 00:15, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Now we're getting into failures of WP:AGF as well. We don't neuter the encyclopaedia because non-neutral editors might add things which may or may not be trivia. Thryduulf (talk) 00:19, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
they are not as real as the coat of arms and flag of say Great Britain or Wales, the idea that anyone would suggest they are raises issues of competence here, tbh. something that has centuries of reliably-sources tradition a and coverage has no comparison to a thing created in Photoshop in a day. retaining an infobox for these articles is a good idea, but lessening their likeness to a real nation inbobox is preferable. ValarianB (talk) 20:56, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They are not as respected and they have none of the heritage or prestige, etc. but that doesn't make them somehow not real. Unless you are claiming that the new Flag of Kyrgyzstan or Flag of Afghanistan (the Islamic Emirate one) are not real? Thryduulf (talk) 21:52, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It seems to me that many people here are engaging in WP:IDONTLIKEIT while trying to masquerade it as legitimate WP policy.
Why does England get to have its own flag?
- Because it has centuries of heritage and tradition.
So why doesn't Liberland get to have its own?
- Because there are very few articles citing it.
How many articles does it take for a flag to become "real"?
- ...

Maybe we should take down Somaliland's flag, and hell, even South Sudan's flag, since it's only been around since 2011, which is a mere 13 years. Getsnoopy (talk) 00:07, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Precisely. It's not centuries of tradition that bestow notability and due weight. It's not even "reality" (contestable as that is with social constructs) that bestows either; the fictional Gondor quite appropriately has its coat of arms in the infobox as a quick and way for viewers to identify the topic, and Rohan, Middle-earth has its flag. P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 19:12, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ a b Cite error: The named reference Braun2013 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b "Principality of Sealand" (PDF). Amorph!03 First Summit of Micronations. Artists' Association MUU. 2003. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d MacEacheran, Mike (5 July 2020). "Sealand: A peculiar 'nation' off England's coast". BBC Travel. BBC. Retrieved 23 September 2020.
I like the third one, with the suggested changes of "proponents" and "location" etc. JoelleJay (talk) 19:23, 13 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So I think we have a clear question. "Should articles on micronations (a) use Infobox Country with the micronation parameter, or (b) use an infobox with the label "Unrecognized micronation" and the fields: type, proponents, dates claimed, and location?" If someone wants to start an RFC on that, I think that would be the best way to resolve this issue.--Trystan (talk) 14:38, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Anyone know how many there are? Micronation infoboxes, that is. Selfstudier (talk) 14:41, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There are approximately 159 articles and redirects categorised in (subcategories of) Category:Micronations (I say approximately as my de-deduplication wasn't rigorous). Not all of them are going to be suitable for an infobox (e.g. Kickassia) so see that figure as an upper bound (unless and until there is a new notable micronation of course). Thryduulf (talk) 14:58, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1, that seems like a good way forward. Levivich (talk) 19:53, 14 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think there should also be the option for no infobox, considering there are several that are primarily known as other things or are not called micronations in RS. JoelleJay (talk) 05:13, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Arguably if an entity is not primarily described as a micronation in RS, then it wouldn’t be in scope of this RfC. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 07:10, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The question could be phrased as "Where articles on micronations use an infobox, should they use...".--Trystan (talk) 13:47, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1, this seems just about ideal. GR Kraml (talk) 18:59, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Agreed. JoelleJay (talk) 22:58, 15 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
+1 Levivich (talk) 18:50, 17 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is the RfC suggested above open yet? (talk) 23:41, 19 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, but feel free to participate in the discussion which may lead to an RFC. Thryduulf (talk) 23:55, 19 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: micronation infoboxes edit

Where articles on micronations use an infobox, should they use

A. infobox country (with the micronation parameter)
B. a custom infobox with the parameters type, proponents, dates claimed, and location; and image options limited to images of the country and/or its geographic location on a map
C. a different custom infobox

If C, please specify which parameters should be included. JoelleJay (talk) 00:55, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Mockup of infoboxes for Sealand (refs removed):

Infobox country with
micronation parameter
Proposed custom infobox
Principality of Sealand
Motto: E Mare Libertas (Latin)
"From the sea, Freedom"
Anthem: "From the sea, Freedom"
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
Organizational structureConstitutional monarchy
• 1967–2012
Paddy Roy Bates
• 2012–present
Michael Bates
• Declared
2 September 1967;
56 years ago
Area claimed
• Total
0.004 km2 (0.0015 sq mi)
(approx. 1 acre)
Purported currencySealand dollar
Principality of Sealand
Unrecognized micronation
Aerial view of Sealand in 1999
Claimed byPaddy Roy Bates, Michael Bates
Dates claimed1967 to present
Area claimedOffshore platform off the coast of England
Type[type determined by page consensus]

Note that parameter order and styling (e.g. font size) in B are not necessarily settled. JoelleJay (talk) 00:55, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Pinging: @AndyTheGrump, SportingFlyer, Certes, Blueboar, InfiniteNexus, Gonnym, P-Makoto, SWinxy, Donald Albury, ValarianB, Horse Eye's Back, Getsnoopy, Elli, TSP, Thryduulf, Trystan, Levivich, Martin of Sheffield, SMcCandlish, WhatamIdoing, Barnards.tar.gz, Animal lover 666, Selfstudier, Xymmax, Seltaeb Eht, North8000, A. B., The Banner, GR Kraml, and Schazjmd: JoelleJay (talk) 01:06, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Only one problem with the proposed infobox I see: "Unrecognized micronation" is redundant, micronations are unrecognized by definition. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 01:19, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why does one example say "Unrecognized micronation" and the other say "Micronation"? I don't think there's necessarily a problem with pointing out that it's unrecognized (it's true that it's part of the definition, but that doesn't mean that 100% of readers already know that), but I'm concerned that the comparison may not be fair as a result of this and other differences. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:57, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
We link it, anyone who hovers over it or click it will read "A micronation is a political entity whose representatives claim that they belong to an independent nation or sovereign state, but which lacks legal recognition by any sovereign state." Horse Eye's Back (talk) 03:30, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
See MOS:NOFORCELINK. Articles should make sense to readers without requiring a link to be clicked and/or hovered over. It certainly isn't reasonable to assume that the reader knows what a 'micronation' is, and given that lack of recognition is a defining feature of the article subject, making it clear is unambiguously beneficial. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:12, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Especially since it's particularly difficult to hover over anything on a mobile device, which is two-thirds of our traffic. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:52, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
NOFORCELINK is about prose... By that argument we should also be explain what "type" means... As well as area claimed... Wouldn't actually be possible to craft an infobox with that particular interpretation of MOS. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:57, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Unrecognized micronation" is not redundant, since the word has multiple uses and often referrs to nations that are recongized, including the Vatican, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco, the individual emirates of UAE, and various historical ones that no longer exist. WP's article at Micronation is entirely about the fictive-intentional, unrecognized sort, but WP is not a source for the reality of English language usage.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  13:00, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are confusing micronation with microstate. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:17, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Certainly, the two are easily confused, and apparently not always used consistently. Which is why it is essential that we don't use the term in the article without making clear what we are actually describing. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:29, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Within the literature I've always found their use to be consistent, at least with modern sources. If we want to make clear what we are actually describing we need a whole sentence, cherry picking a single part of that description is undue and just feels jerkish which we shouldn't be. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:37, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Feel free to propose Wikipedia:Don't be a jerk, be misleading instead as a new policy. For now, it isn't. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:45, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Wikipedia:No personal attacks however is policy, and one I recommend you follow. Thryduulf (talk) 19:54, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That seems like a straw man and is rather hurtful, is that really what you think I'm arguing? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:55, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"If we want to make clear what we are actually describing we need a whole sentence, cherry picking a single part of that description is undue and just feels jerkish which we shouldn't be." I'm the editor that proposed "Unrecognized micronation" as the header of the infobox, so I would like to explain my thinking in doing so. I proposed it in good faith and not with the motivation (or, I believe, the result) of being "jerkish". The main goal is clarity for the reader. Definitions of micronation tend to highlight three aspects 1) small 2) claims to be a nation and 3) unrecognized. I think the first two are evident in the term itself, while the third is not at all, so "Unrecognized micronation", while arguably somewhat redundant, better conveys the meaning. No additional wording is required to convey the core components of the definition. Because micronation is comparatively recent (only entering widespread use in the past 20 years or so), and because it is so similar to the much more common microstate, I think the additional clarification is warranted.--Trystan (talk) 01:33, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B, please. We need to be clear that Micronations are not nations in the usual sense. Donald Albury 02:02, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • A or C. Option B unnecessarily excludes identifying information (e. g. the flag).
A "C" option that I would support would resemble A while adding a "Proponents" parameter, since knowing who declares a given micronation tends to be of interest and part of reliable source coverage of notable micronations.
I'll add that I'm not very clear on what this RfC says will be the outcome of each potential consensus. Will a new policy page be created? Will a section be added to the Manual of Style? Something else? "Should" suggests some kind of imperative, but how and where would that imperative be articulated (if at all)? P-Makoto (she/her) (talk) 02:13, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It'll just resolve the conflict of "what infobox should we use". If someone tries to change it, they will be pointed here. SWinxy (talk) 02:23, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option A. I'd argue that keeping Infobox country allows for the inclusion of pertinent information that the alternative infobox leaves out. Despite being unrecognized, micronations still have claims that can be verified. I think excluding them lessens the usefulness of an alternative infobox. I prefer that the infobox include things like a flag, coat of arms, motto, etc. It's at-a-glance information that proper countries also make claims of. SWinxy (talk) 02:20, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B. Per MOS:INFOBOX, "...the purpose of an infobox: to summarize (and not supplant) key facts that appear in the article..." Per WP:ASPECT, "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." Based on how sources typically cover micronations, Option B aligns with the governing policy and guidelines, while Option A places undue emphasis on aspects treated as minor by reliable sources.--Trystan (talk) 02:31, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B, with the additional parameter of a website, as a micronation's web presence is usually notable and a key aspect of their existence. B summarizes the actual key facts of the subject, without giving undue weight to the organization's claims. Seltaeb Eht (talk) 02:37, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Reporting the claims made in a neutral, factual manner is (as repeatedly explained in the pre-RFC discussion) not giving them undue weight. Thryduulf (talk) 03:32, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Reporting wildly implausible claims that are by definition fraudulent, jokes or artistic expression in a place and a manner that readers expect to be used for uncontroversial core facts absolutely is giving them undue weight. GR Kraml (talk) 07:30, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's not neutral to call Michael or Roy Bates the Prince of Sealand in wikivoice. Most of the secondary sources in the article seem to use scare quotes ("prince") or another way of downplaying it ("so-called"). I didn't see a single one that actually called it a "constitutional monarchy" in those terms. And Sealand is the most "real" type of micronation, so should be the least able to poke holes in. I'm convinced by Trystan's citing of MOS:INFOBOX, I think it hits it on the head. Is a key fact about Sealand that it's a Constitutional Monarchy, or that its motto is E mare libertas? The second fact isn't even cited or discussed in the article. It's surely verifiable, but is it what the majority of neutral, reliable, non-primary sources would consider a key fact about Sealand, or is it trivia? Seltaeb Eht (talk) 22:38, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option A (but with the heading changed to the style of the custom one) per SWinxy, per P-Makoto, per NPOV and the extensive comments I and others made in the pre-RFC discussion. Thryduulf (talk) 03:29, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B. Because a micronation is not a country or sovereign state (unlike a microstate), articles about micronations shouldn't use {{infobox country}}. Infoboxes are for giving quick key facts about the article subject, and the key facts about micronations will be different than the key facts about countries. A custom infobox, such as B, will avoid misleading the reader into thinking that a micronation is a country, and it'll better inform the reader about the key facts of a micronation. While I think "B" is a good start for a new infobox for micronations, I would support editors' continuing to improve/discuss/adjust the particulars of parameters, etc., as I'm sure it could be further refined and developed. Levivich (talk) 04:11, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B. 1) Micronations are most definitely not a "type" of nation and do not occupy any space along the spectrum of legitimate claims to statehood. They are not included alongside real nations in even a small fraction of the high-quality IRS sources that aim to cover a large subset of nations (e.g. tertiary sources summarizing the "countries of Europe" virtually never include any micronations, even when they do include quasi-states and other legally-recognized non-sovereign polities).
    2) Micronations are far too heterogeneous in what they even are to justify more than the bare minimum of parameter options. There are essentially no defining features of micronations other than lacking legal recognition by sovereign states.(*)
    3) Our guidelines on infoboxes make it clear that fewer optional parameters is preferred and that options should not be included if they are not relevant to most of the affected articles. The availability of optional fields does not mean that all fields should be made optional and The less information it contains, the more effectively it serves that purpose, allowing readers to identify key facts at a glance. Of necessity, some infoboxes contain more than just a few fields; however, wherever possible, present information in short form, and exclude any unnecessary content. Regarding whether to create an optional field in an infobox: How important is the field to the articles that will use the infobox? Is it summary information, or more extended detail that may be better placed within the body of an article? and If the field is relevant to very few articles, it should probably not be included at all.
    (*)To revisit some examples I used previously regarding how extraordinarily different in basically every fundamental characteristic even the notable micronations are: they include thousands of online-only entities (like this "hypothetical project" formed by some teenagers in the 90s, or this one designated as an extremist social network), one-man efforts to become a new province under another country's ruleadvertising campaigns, projects with merely the stated intent to start a micronation via crowdfunding, admitted scams, documentary projects that assert they have no desire to declare independence, "political and constitutional simulations" by law students, literal sarcasm, and underwater libertarian paradise proposals/scams; as well as entities primarily known for being art projects or cryptowebsites or migratory fraud schemes or non-profits or neighborhoods that happen to have been called "micronations" by someone at some point. These are not inherently deserving of the same emphases and displays of regalia as real countries, not least because most of them don't even have any independent secondary RS discussing those aspects at all. And that's just the ones that are actually called "micronations" in RS as opposed to being designated a "micronation" by some editor adding categories. JoelleJay (talk) 05:01, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    In response to your point 2, that's actually an argument for more parameter options so that the one relevant to the given micronation are available where they are relevant. In regards to point 1, this argument has been refuted (multiple times) in the pre-RFC discussion - there is a single continuum from micronation to fully-recognised sovereign nation (with entities such as the Holy See not fitting neatly on it) with no objective criterion separating micronations from unrecognised nations. Thryduulf (talk) 05:07, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Uh, no, the fact that there is some number of possible parameters that would only be applicable to various small subsets of the group "micronations" is exactly why our guideline finds it necessary to explicitly discourage including options that aren't widely relevant to the group. The availability of optional fields does not mean that all fields should be made optional, nor that large numbers of rarely used fields should be added without regard for the layout and ease-of-use of the infobox template.
    And I sure don't see where micronational status has been demonstrated as being along the same continuum. If you're referring to the claim that Liberland has "diplomatic ties" with Somaliland, then a) that is not legal recognition from a sovereign state, and b) the extent of that "diplomatic recognition" was described by the BBC as:

    The "president" of the unrecognised territory of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka, has been visiting another unrecognised republic, Somaliland, for talks about mutual recognition. The Somaliland foreign ministry tweeted that the two sides had discussed how to "strengthen cooperation".

    According to Somaliland and Liberland sources, this meant they "began the mutual recognition process", which is a far cry from legal recognition by a sovereign state. And even if Liberland eventually did gain recognition, that doesn't change the definition of a micronation, and it does not suggest progression to statehood is a natural or remotely plausible outcome for micronations in general or even for a tiny minority of them. JoelleJay (talk) 05:39, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    there is a single continuum from micronation to fully-recognised sovereign nation There is a single continuum from fictional character to well-documented historical head of state and T'Challa still doesn't get an officeholder infobox. GR Kraml (talk) 07:37, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I learned recently that the definition of "country" is more diverse than I ever suspected. The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a sovereign nation, recognized by dozens of countries, holds an observer post at the UN, issues the world's rarest passport (about 500 people hold one), and has no territory at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:56, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B The use of the country infobox is misleading. It gives undue prominence to the flag, coat of arms, motto and anthem; it encourages the inclusion of inappropriate parameters such as "Demonyms", "Capital" and "Official languages" (eg. at Republic of Minerva and Ladonia (micronation)); and it gives the impression that the claimants form an official government. Per Levivich above, the parameters of the new micronation infobox should be open to further discussion, to ensure it can be adapted to every use case. I like "Unrecognized micronation" despite the redundancy, because a micronation is easily confused with a microstate, and readers won't necessarily click or hover on the link to discover their mistake. Sojourner in the earth (talk) 05:02, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B per JoelleJay and Sojourner - the infobox country information is relevant for a real country, where currencies, flags, anthems, languages etc are actually used. Not so much for a micronation, where those are probably just words on a website. Galobtter (talk) 05:46, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B. Infoboxes are intended to contain non-controversial facts only. They are not platforms for the promotion of fringe POVs regarding territorial status, sovereignty, or anything else. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:21, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Out of the two presented Option A. I don't see how excluding valid information (which will be found in the article) is controversial. If it's controversial, it shouldn't be in the article. If it isn't, then it's valid to add to the infobox. Gonnym (talk) 06:44, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
This is an argument for literally anything DUE in an article being valid as an infobox parameter. Our guidelines specifically discourage this. JoelleJay (talk) 07:51, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"If it's controversial, it shouldn't be in the article" is actually an argument for not having an article at all. There is nothing about micronations that doesn't constitute a minority (most often a microscopically small one) making claims for sovereign status regarding a territory. They only exist as 'controversial claims'. This in of itself doesn't necessarily prevent Wikipedia having articles, where they can be properly sourced (we have an article on Bigfoot, after all), but what it must do is present the claims as the claims of a fringe minority, rather than as fact. AndyTheGrump (talk) 09:41, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Our guidelines do not discourage this. You small group of editors which have this unclear obsession of micronations are against it. I'm perfectly fine using {{Infobox country}} for these. Just to make it more official, {{Infobox country}} -> Option A -> Never option B. Gonnym (talk) 12:59, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B. Readers come to any given article with the implicit assumption that the infobox will contain key facts, both because of the interface affordances involved and because this is what infoboxes do in every other article. They implicitly expect these key facts to be key in both senses: germane to understanding and contextualizing the subject on the one hand; well established and largely unassailable on the other. A fictitious state motto that can only be cited to one blog post or a fictitious state flag flown by one handful of investment scammers is neither. The outward effect of a country infobox on a fictitious country is front-loading the article with meaningless trivia and pushing the real information down the page, which is objectively bad editing. The inward significance is that we're actively lying to readers about the meaning and substance of what they are looking at. GR Kraml (talk) 07:28, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B. It's idealistic to suppose that, with option A, information that is not DUE can be excluded from the infobox via article-by-article consensus. We know that doesn't work, already, as there are just too many editors keen to fill in each and every available parameter. If you allow a government_type parameter, trivia-lovers will come by and fill it with Constitutional monarchy, quite regardless of DUE. Then you have to argue the case repeatedly for every article. MichaelMaggs (talk) 09:27, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B. I concur with the arguments set out in favour of this option so far, and add:
  • An argument has been put forward along the lines of "who are we to judge what counts as a real country, because there's a continuum".
    • Firstly, it's reliable sources which have the job of judging whether something is a real country - and reliable sources that put micronations on an equal footing with countries have not been forthcoming. What we actually see in reliable sources is that micronations are clearly distinguished from countries, and also from microstates.
    • Secondly, this is a rather nihilistic argument that could be applied over-generally. There's a continuum between science and pseudoscience. There's a continuum between evidence-based medicine and faith healers. Continuums are beloved of cranks, who exploit the egalitarian instinct not to judge, in order to get their foot in the door. "Maybe it's not mainstream science, but it's a type of science, right?" they say. From there we progress to teach the controversy, then we hear "they're both just theories / they're both just social constructions / they're both valid in their own way", and eventually they end up arguing that black is white. The key point is that the existence of a notional continuum does not prevent reliable sources (and thence us) from clearly distinguishing the things at the opposite ends of the continuum.
  • Why do we care so much about this? Because we must not allow Wikipedia to become the vehicle for fringe ideas to gain unwarranted legitimacy. Gaining a hint of recognition as a real country (or even as a type of country) from Wikipedia is a big win for these little projects, and at least some of these projects are outright scams. It would be negligent for us to play along. One might argue that labelling them as "unrecognised" is enough to guard against this, but I disagree that this is enough: the country infobox, complete with flags and coats of arms, has a legitimising trade dress effect on readers, that makes the subject look a lot more official than it is. Legitimisation is the intended purpose of all the regalia. Micronations dress up to look as much like countries as possible, but the lady doth protest too much, methinks, and sources don't give this aspect of micronations anywhere near the prominence that putting it top of the infobox would confer, so ultimately including all these trappings is undue.
Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 10:09, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option A. The infobox in option B leaves of pertinent details (for basically no obvious reason), and the reasons that the others provided unsatisfactorily substantiate why they should be left out (e.g., a flag being displayed for a micronation is just as relevant as a flag being displayed for a "real" nation). Also, see the discussion above for more reasons as to why.
Getsnoopy (talk) 10:09, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B Option A clearly violates WP:DUE and WP:FRINGE and should not be implemented in any case. SportingFlyer T·C 12:08, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, it doesn't. WP:FRINGE clearly states that you can only have a fringe theory if it's in comparison to a mainstream view. What are the mainstream views for micronations? (By the way, the lack of knowledge about a micronation—i.e., ignorance— doesn't constitute a "mainstream view".) If a topic is notable enough (substantiated by reliable sources), then that's it. In a micronation's case, the entire article itself might be a relatively non-mainstream topic, but insofar as there are RS that warrant its existence, everything within it is per se not fringe assuming it's corroborated by RS. Only if there's a specific fact about them that is fringe would WP:FRINGE actually apply (e.g., Liberland being founded merely as a means to commit a pump-and-dump scam, etc.). Getsnoopy (talk) 01:33, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Of these, Option A strikes me as fine if consensus on the article's talk page is for it, or something generally similar. Adjusting the subheading to clarify without need for a click that "micronation" means its claims aren't taken seriously by anyone would be fine with me. But I find most of the vocal proponents of Option B seem to be trying to deny as much as possible that micronations "exist", but since they do get coverage in RSes they want to exclude as much as they can get away with from the infoboxes on an assertion that "someone" might somehow be confused if the infobox includes the micronation's claimed flag, motto, and so on. Anomie 12:37, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Options B or C - I agree that infobox country is inappropriate and that micro-nations should have a unique infobox… that said, I would include more parameters than are presented in option B. For example: I do think we should include the flags and coat of arms. HOWEVER, I would probably place them elsewhere in the box (placing them at the top does give them UNDUE weight… but including them somewhere in the box is DUE).
Still, which parameters to include (and where to include them) can be amended later. The issue NOW is whether to create a separate, new micronations box or not. And THAT I support. Blueboar (talk) 13:41, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But why do you think using infobox country is inappropriate? Thryduulf (talk) 14:45, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Blueboar, I keep thinking about this and wondering whether it matters (to readers; the name of the infobox clearly does matter to some editors). Let's assume that we create a shiny new Template:Infobox micronation. What will happen next? Well, I think we'll expand the infobox until it is, for some articles, indistinguishable at a glance from Template:Infobox country. Oh, I need to add "my" parameter. Don't you think "your" parameter could be useful in this group? And they want "their" parameter. Who could object to including an WP:ELOFFICIAL link? We do that for far more dubious outfits (including spammers). The subtleties of layout difference will be lost on the reader, and some years from now, we'll be back at TFD with another merge proposal with editors like @Pigsonthewing and @Danlaycock presumably voting again to merge them, because they're basically duplicative.
For me, the bottom line seems to be a big old "Who cares?" What matters, as you say, is what gets shown to the reader. It does not matter to me what code the editor types to make that appear for the reader. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:48, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I almost feel the same… but… I think there are enough differences in which parameters are appropriate (and their presentation within the box) that a separate box makes sense. Blueboar (talk) 01:23, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option A is fine, it identifies the entity as a micronation, which is the key point. No point in an additional effort to differentiate beyond that. Selfstudier (talk) 15:16, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B summarizes key aspects of the micronation in a way that better communicates to the reader the nature of the article topic. I showed both to three very casual readers (non-editors, only read wikipedia when it's top of their search results, had never heard of micronations, and one of them believes everything google tells them comes from wikipedia): when they viewed A, they were confident that it was a tiny country somewhere; when they viewed B, they weren't confident about what it was because people were just "claiming" it but they were pretty sure it wasn't a "real" nation (and intended to go look up "micronation" later). Anecdotal, but I found it interesting. To me, the two infoboxes are comparable to infobox_person and infobox_character. Schazjmd (talk) 15:47, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option B as clearly differentiation is needed. LegalSmeagolian (talk) 16:05, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Option A also provides differentiation, why is that not sufficient? Thryduulf (talk) 17:23, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Because it's clearly confusing to the lay community. SportingFlyer T·C 23:06, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • @JoelleJay, why is the proposed specialized infobox so much smaller than the normal country one? Is this a key feature of the proposal (e.g., make the map half the size and make the infobox narrower, so it seems less important), or just an accident? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:22, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Some of this is an effect caused by my prefs, I think. I see the first infobox with images at 300px wide, and the second has been hard-coded to 200px wide. The current default is 220px, so if you are running default prefs, you will see an image that is maybe 20% smaller for the mockup. If you are running with 300px, then it's half the size. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:30, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I didn't create these mockups, I just took them from the discussion above, but I don't think any size differences are intentional. We'll hammer out the exact technical specifications on B if it gets consensus. JoelleJay (talk) 22:37, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I created the first side-by-side comparison (in the #Moving forward section). For the two {{infobox country}} variants I just copied the code from the Sealand article, I think they use default widths? The custom infobox (option B here) I copied from the one further up the page that I think @Trystan created. Thryduulf (talk) 04:34, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Template:Infobox country seems to use user-specified image size, and to adjust the infobox's overall width to accommodate it. The mockup has hard-coded the image width at 200 px (=noticeably narrower than the infobox). WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:05, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @WhatamIdoing and JoelleJay: I've adjusted option A to make them both the same width, see note below. Thryduulf (talk) 00:28, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B per JoelleJay. Nikkimaria (talk) 04:15, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B. It needs to be clearer that these "nations" are notional/fictive/intentional, not actual countries in the usual sense, and the wide panoply of parameters that apply in the case of recognized countries are not really applicable or encyclopedically useful for micronations (in this sense of that term). Use of them is apt to be misleading to readers, and is a PoV excercise towards legitimization.  — SMcCandlish ¢ 😼  13:00, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B Micronations are a fictional constructs not countries and most of what appears in these infoboxes is simply made up by someone one day and have little independent coverage. Our presentation of these places should limit undue placement of self-proclamations and fantasy flags and only include actual key facts as reported by significant independent sources with appropriate context. Reywas92Talk 18:02, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I keep seeing editors say that micronations are "fictional". (The article on Micronation makes no such claim, describing them as "a political entity" instead, and we seem to be agreed that it's not a Fictional country.)
    So I wonder: Are political parties "fictional"? Is a Corporation "fictional"? They're not tangible, and there are debates about how "real" some intangible groups are (e.g., Corporate personhood, Juridical person). It seems to me that a micronation's claim to be a sovereign nation is actually false (not "fictional"), but its claim to be a group of people is as true and non-fictional as any other social group. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:33, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B gets the point across that while it may be a physical area that exists, it is not an actual sovereign nation with genuine coats of arms, flags, currencies and the like. ValarianB (talk) 18:37, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    A does exactly the same thing. Although the flags and coats of arms are usually genuine - e.g. I'm not aware that anybody disputes that the flag and coat of arms of Sealand represent Sealand, regardless of whether they recognise Sealand as an independent nation or anything else. In order for a currency to be "real", it just has to be accepted as a means of exchange by two or more people - for example shopping vouchers, beer tokens, casino chips, etc. are all real currencies even if they are only usable in very limited circumstances. WP:N deals with things that are not real. Thryduulf (talk) 18:47, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    this was your 49th comment in this discussion. ValarianB (talk) 18:51, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The number of comments alone does not indicate bludgeoning or lack thereof. The simplest way to avoid someone pointing out that your !vote is based on a factual inaccuracy that has been pointed out multiple times is simple - don't make comments that have been noted multiple times as factually inaccurate. Thryduulf (talk) 18:55, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Bullshit repeated endlessly does not become fact. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:35, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Which is why I keep calling out the bullshit. Thryduulf (talk) 19:40, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    What an utterly infantile response. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:47, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Personal attacks are not acceptable, even if you cannot refute the argument. Thryduulf (talk) 19:53, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Feel free to raise my characterisation of your post elsewhere if you feel so inclined. Though note that I will use your above response as further evidence of the same. And while I'm at it, point to the ample evidence of bludgeoning already provided. WP:BOOMERANG isn't policy either, but it is sound advice. AndyTheGrump (talk) 19:59, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    now 52. that you're in the minority who disagree with my opinion doesn't make it wrong. if there's any takeaway from this subject for you, accept a loss gracefully. ValarianB (talk) 20:29, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Once again the number of comments alone is not relevant. You are entitled to your opinion (as is everybody) but this is not about matters of opinion, it is about matters of fact. The number of people agreeing with something is completely irrelevant to whether it is factual or not, and mostly irrelevant to whether it is compatible with policies and guidelines or not (the partially relevant part is that consensus can choose to disregard/not apply some policies/guidelines in the specific circumstance, NPOV and V are not examples of those though). Thryduulf (talk) 21:02, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    what we are dealing with here is the false representation of a bunch of squatters as a nation. the new infobox resolves that. really quite simple. ValarianB (talk) 21:09, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    No, no matter how many times you try and impose your POV on the world that's not what we're dealing with here (at least in the majority of cases). Thryduulf (talk) 21:30, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    54 AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:38, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I do believe that option B sorely lacks some important information A has. If an entity has obtained notability by imitation of a real state, then information relating what the entity has done related to said imitation must be included on Wikipedia, especially if it has been mentioned on multiple notable sources as such.
    Here are some things that I noted:
    -The flag is arguably the most important thing a micronation's identity hinges around, and to include it can be treated as incorporating the logo/emblem of a organization, not an actual state. If its still a tad bit misleading, add a disclaimer that says 'Unrecognized Flag' and something along the lines.
    -B does not tell who the current claimant of the micronation is. Having a history of claimants can be useful to readers, who might get confused, for example, on whether the late Paddy Bates is still the leader of the project.
    -Writing the micronation's area claimed and the date of claim in a more simplified form doesn't feel very neccesary. (talk) 23:15, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • B. Much I agree with has been said for this option. The most important reason, to me, is that of Wikipedia not being misleading in appearance (as well as in text, of course). (As an aside, I think fictional (as in literary fictional, e.g.) countries' flags may be included in the corresponding articles' infobox, when these flags have become iconic; and hardly any readers will be misled into thinking that the Klingon Empire or Babar's Kingdom have anything to do with the real world they live in). ---Sluzzelin talk 00:25, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Note I have adjust the infobox country example (option A) so that it is the same width as the custom infobox,[a] originally it used the default image thumbnail size set in user preferences so appeared wider than option B for at least some editors. If option A is chosen it will (almost certainly) use the default size, whether option B would use default size or fixed width has not been discussed. Thryduulf (talk) 00:28, 22 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Because I couldn't work out how to make Option B the same width as Option A)

RfC on MOS:LEADLENGTH/Wikiproject Consensus edit

Hey everyone, per the recommendations on the RfC page, I'm posting a link to the RfC I opened on DOY articles and their lead length here. Here's the brief version of the question for the RfC:

Should the leads of Days Of the Year (DOY) articles be expanded to comply with MOS:LEADLENGTH/WP:FLCR or should those policies be modified to create an exception for DOY articles per the apparent consensus against changing DOY leads?

Link to RfC

I added a expanded explanation of the question on the RfC page so please go there to get a full understanding of the issue. Cheers, Dan the Animator 02:49, 11 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Make registration required for editing edit

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The person who started this discussion is now blocked by the Wikipedia:CheckUsers. Anyone who is interested in pursuing these ideas can take it up elsewhere (e.g., at Wikipedia:Village pump (idea lab)). WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:00, 20 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I propose that registration should be required to edit articles, even if unprotected. Here are the reasons why:

  1. With enough resources and dedication, malicious individuals can locate an individual through an IP address.
  2. With the exception of VPNs, a computer's IP address changes frequently, meaning punishments to an IP address are useless.
  3. The reason cited above means IP addresses can vandal unprotected articles, with punishments providing useless

Plus, the accounts should be associated to MAC addresses instead of IP addresses, while also keeping these logs only available to CheckUsers. HedgehogLegend (talk) 17:55, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Wikipedia:Perennial proposals#Prohibit unregistered users from editing Selfstudier (talk) 17:59, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The proposed IP masking will solve some of the problems above, though it will create others. Once that has stabilised, I suggest revisiting the question of allowing anonymous edits in the light of our experience of vandal-fighting in the new environment. Certes (talk) 20:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I used to support requiring registration to edit Wikipedia. There have been attempts to start competitors to Wikipedia that did require registration, such as Citizendium. After seeing those projects fail, I've changed my mind. Donald Albury 20:46, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With enough resources, malicious individuals can identify many a logged in user as well, as many of us put all sorts of information about ourselves in our discussions, on our User page, etc. I don't think it would take folks long to figure out who I am. Is that to be banned too? -- Nat Gertler (talk) 20:52, 18 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Windows has a built-in setting to randomize one's MAC address, so using that instead of IP addresses won't stop ban-evading. And Wikipedia already has a nuclear wave-of-IP-hopping-vandals-defense set up (which I know about because I've lived through it...). 2603:8001:4542:28FB:4851:ABD7:411A:D43E (talk) 03:06, 19 February 2024 (UTC) (Send talk messages here)Reply[reply] 2806:104E:13:F79F:2C05:2DEC:7939:B48A (talk) 06:04, 19 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
One of Wikipedia's biggest problems is "Sockpuppetry" - users who created multiple accounts. The amount of resources needed to deal with sockpuppetry is much higher than anonymous users. Requiring all people to have accounts in order to be able to edit would probably make sockpuppetry a bigger problem. Additionally, one study shows that over 75% of all anonymous edits are "good-faith" - intended to help Wikipedia. And probably many of the current users started out editing anonymously, and would never have started editing if this wasn't an option. So we probably would lose more than we'd gain by disallowing anonymous editing. There is probably no step we can take to reduce disruptive editing which won't also reduce good editing; we need to find the right balance, and allowing anonymous users to edit is probably the right balance. Animal lover |666| 19:38, 19 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
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.

COI Tagging Disputes edit

I have a two-part question, but what I want here is an answer to the more general question, which is a policy question, rather than the question about an article. The question is, in general, what if any procedure is or should there be for deciding whether a {{coi}} tag on an article should remain or should be removed. The slightly more specific question is: If editor A has applied a {{coi}} tag to an article, and editor B, who is not the originator of the article and is neutral, has removed the {{coi}} tag, but editor C has reapplied the {{coi}} tag, what procedure should or can be followed for deciding whether and how to remove the tag?

My own opinion is that tagging disputes are stupid unless they can be restated as disputes about how to improve the encyclopedia. For instance, if the {{tone}} and {{npov}} tags have been put on an article, discussion should be about what changes should be made to the wording of the article, or, if necessary, what paragraphs should be removed from the article. A problem sometimes occurs when a reviewer puts a tag on an article, but is not ready or willing to explain exactly what changes they want made. How should disputes about the {{coi}} tag be dealt with? Should the tagger be expected, when asked, to explain what changes should be made? Otherwise, what should be the procedure to move forward?

In the case in point, one editor put the tag on the article, another editor removed the tag, and a third editor restored the tag. Should the restoring editor be expected to identify changes that they want made? Is there some other procedure for resolving whether the tag should remain?

The specific case in point is Kessel Run. I accepted Draft:Kessel Run into article space in October. Its author had forgotten to tag the draft to indicate the conflict of interest of being employed by the organization. The article was then tagged. I re-reviewed the article, and said that I would have accepted the article if it had been tagged for {{coi}}; I would have removed the tag based on my judgment as a neutral reviewer. There has been discussion at the Conflict of Interest Noticeboard. Another editor removed the tag. A third editor has restored the tag. So my question is how will the decision be made as to how long the article is tagged.

I am really more asking about how a dispute over a {{coi}} tag should be maintained or removed is decided rather than about the specific article. Robert McClenon (talk) 05:22, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is there a reason this can't be discussed and resolved at the Talk page of the article in question when such a dispute arises? DonIago (talk) 06:33, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yeah, DonIago, I've reviewed this, and I can see that we're way past that. Here's a link to the COIN noticeboard thread.
We Wikipedians are rightly leery of editors who have a conflict of interest, but I wouldn't agree with the more hardline people on the COIN noticeboard. Tags of any kind aren't forever -- I feel that when any independent, experienced, good faith editor decides to remove them, they should come off. I think that in cases like this, where the tag removal is subsequently disputed, the burden is on those arguing to retain the tag to identify specific issues with the article that justify its retention.—S Marshall T/C 08:58, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Every tag on the article should be temporary with a defined point at which it can be removed. That end-point could be time-based (e.g. the topic ceases to be a current event, etc) or when specifically-identified problems have been fixed (e.g. unsourced content is verified or removed, copyedits have been made, a discussion about disputed material has concluded, etc). If specific, actionable issues with the article cannot be articulated then the article must not be tagged. "A contributor has a COI, the article needs to checked for neutrality" is actionable because once the article has been checked it can be removed and, importantly, must be removed. If the check identifies specific issues that the person doing the check cannot fix then and there (for whatever reason) then those specific issues can be tagged, but it/they must replace the generic review needed tag. An author having a COI does not automatically mean that what they wrote is biased, it just means that they are not in a position to determine whether it is or is not biased. Thryduulf (talk) 12:39, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There, exactly my position and perfectly articulated.—S Marshall T/C 15:43, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well put. North8000 (talk) 17:33, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thank you, User:Thryduulf, User:S Marshall. I think that both of you are saying what I started to say about tags, and why tagging disputes should be disputes over article content. As to the specific issue, the {{coi}} tag has been removed again. I don't think that my general question has been answered yet. What should be the procedure if the {{coi}} tag is applied or reapplied by an editor who does not identify specific issues? What can be done in such a case? Thryduulf and S Marshall have restated a concept about tagging, with which I agree, that tags should be temporary. So my question is what should be done if one or more editors persist in tagging or retagging in a way that does not have a defined characteristic for untagging? As User:S Marshall observed, the case in point was about tagging with vaguely stated concerns and no specific removal criterion. How do we address persistent non-specific tagging? Robert McClenon (talk) 17:59, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Suggest pointing the dissenting users to this discussion? They might have thoughts and reasons they want to share.—S Marshall T/C 18:30, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(edit conflict) Discussion.
  • If a tag is removed that you think should apply, clearly state on the talk page why you think that, being as specific as possible and remember that the issues must be actionable. If you cannot do that, then the tag does not belong on the article.
    • The existence of a (potential) COI and/or (potential) (undisclosed) paid editing are issues with editors not article content, you must identify specific, actionable issues with the article.
  • If a tag is added that you think should not be. On the talk page, ask the editor(s) adding the tag to clearly state the issues with the article per the above bullet. If possible, give details about what checks you've done, any issues that don't require tags you've identified, any issues you've fixed, anything that might be controversial but you believe is fine, etc.
    • If no editors respond within a reasonable time frame, then remove the tag with a link to the talk page section.
  • If you cannot reach agreement then seek additional opinions (3O, RfC, etc).
  • If someone continually adds or removes a tag against or in the absence of consensus this is a behaviour issue, follow standard dispute resolution.
Thryduulf (talk) 18:38, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • To make this short… The procedure is: Go to the article talk page and start a discussion. What happens NEXT depends on what is said (or not said) in that discussion, but Thryduulf outlines several options. If necessary, call in non-involved editors for a “3rd Opinion”. Blueboar (talk) 18:57, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Speaking of the general case only:
  • We care about COI because we care about NPOV, full stop. Wikipedia is not a children's game of Mother May I?, in which only editors with approval get to edit. The COI guideline exists to prevent biased articles. It does not exist because we want to main the ritual purity of an article. If the article's contents are neutral – as defined by the relevant policy, not as perceived by an individual ("but the article only says nice things about this business, so it's obviously biased") – then there should be no concerns about COI.
  • Therefore, the first thing to do when seeing such a tag is to find out whether there is a problem with neutrality. This may be obvious (especially if you have some knowledge of the subject matter, and consequently you just happen to know that Sal Scandal is only notable due to scandalous behavior, all mention of which has somehow been omitted from the article), but as a general rule, this tag, like all other NPOV-related tags, needs to be accompanied by a discussion on the talk page.
  • If there is no discussion on the talk page, then any editor who is personally unable to identify the problem is justified in removing it boldly/immediately/without discussion.
  • Any editor who wants to restore the tag needs to post an explanation of the neutrality problems on the talk page ("C'mon guys, Sy Scandal is famous for scandals, and this article makes him look like as innocent as a newborn babe. We should be citing this source about the noodle incident, and that news article about the dramatic exit from the drama company, and this magazine about the family fiasco, and...") NB "an explanation of the neutrality problems", not "an explanation of my emotional reasoning" nor even "an explanation of why I think this other editor's username indicates a connection to the subject".
  • From there, it's a "straightforward" consensus-oriented discussion (and related Wikipedia:Dispute resolution processes), noting that anyone removing such a tag should not be entirely surprised if the removal is opposed by an editor. Two common cases are POV pushers (either pro- or anti- the subject, and sometimes motivated by nothing more nefarious than their belief that they understand the subject better than anyone else), and editors who are invincibly convinced that nobody would ever create this article/write that content unless they had a COI.
Another thing to keep in mind is that these tags should be temporary – preferably very temporary. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:58, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think your approach to COI is a little too tactical (maybe thats just in this context though)... By my understanding COI functions on both a tactical and strategic level, even if every single edit is on its own unobjectionable a number of unobjectionable edits across multiple pages can have the combined strategic effect of unbalancing wikipedia. That is much much harder to spot than edits that are individually problematic which is why the community has endorsed the systematic disclosure of COI for editors who wish to edit those the topics with which they have a conflict of interest (which nobody is required to do). Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:31, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Every tag on an article must related to specific, actionable issues and must be removed when those issues have been resolved. There is nothing "tactical" or "strategic" about this - either the article is neutral or it is not. If you believe an article is non-neutral then you need to be able to say why you think that. "An editor (might have) had a COI" does not make an article biased. It is a reason to check whether the article is neutral, but once that check has been done the tag must be removed. Thryduulf (talk) 19:35, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"but once that check has been done the tag must be removed." you can't mean that. Surely if the check finds the article not to be neutral and the COI issue to be real the tag must *not* be removed? I also think you're forgetting to WP:AGF, you are required to assume that whoever placed the tag had a good reason even if you can't see one. Just because you don't see a neutrality issue doesn't mean there isn't one, someone else may be smarter or more knowledgable about a topic area than you. Your suggested editing style makes sense for a demigod, for a human being it would be disruptive. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 20:08, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the article is non-neutral then tag it as non-neutral - the COI tag is irrelevant as the check for neutrality has been done. Tags on articles must relate to specific, actionable issues. If you think there is a neutrality issue that someone else hasn't seen, then you need to explain what the specific, actionable neutrality issue is. It is the responsibility of the person placing the tag to ensure that the reason it has been placed is clear to other editors. Thryduulf (talk) 20:25, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I don't understand this argument, it seems like you are opposed to the existence of a COI tag? Horse Eye's Back (talk) 23:30, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The COI tag says (paraphrased) "This article has had contributions from someone with a COI. This means it might not be neutral, but it is has not been checked yet." Once a check has been done then we know one of two things - either the article is non-neutral (in which case it should be tagged as non-neutral so readers know that it does have NPOV issues) or the article is neutral (in which case no tag is needed). I'm not opposed to the COI tag as long as it is used correctly and not as a badge of shame. Thryduulf (talk) 23:56, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • I see two main contexts here... One where the editor removing the tag is challenging the validity of the COI identification itself and another where they are challenging its relevance to the article as currently written. IMO those are entirely different scenarios, in the first one it would be incumbent on the editor removing the tag to discuss it either on the talk page or at WP:COIN. In the second I think most of the time a simple explanation in the edit summary ("No longer applicable, article has been cleaned up" or similar) is all that is needed. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:26, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The existence (or not) of a COI is independent of and irrelevant to a tag on the article. Every tag on an article must related to actionable issues with that article. If someone believes that an article's neutrality needs to be checked, then that's fine but the tag can be (and should be) removed by any neutral editor after they have checked the article and either (a) found no issues, (b) fixed the issues they found, or (c) tagged specific issues that they can't fix. Thryduulf (talk) 19:32, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Its not irrelevant to what tag is on the article, for example if someone agrees that there is a NPOV issue but disagrees with the COI allegation. They would then remove the COI tag and replace it with a NPOV tag or whatever else was needed to address the actual issues. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 19:34, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I agree with the near-unanimous main point above is that after the article is checked for COI-driven issues and any of them found are resolved, the tag should come off. The above sort of presumes that an article content issue has already been perceived. I'd like to add that in reality there is an additional very-short term use/reason. Which is when there is an initial concern about the presence of a COI situation. This may trigger simply a closer look to see if there are COI-driven content issues, or providing wiki-guidance to the possible-COI editor, and to heighten awareness of the possibility at the article. I think that this "second reason" should last only a few days, but I think we need to acknowledge it. If it was strictly about already-determined NPOV issues in the content, we'd just need an NPOV tag and there would be no need for a separate COI tag. North8000 (talk) 20:35, 21 February 2024 (UTC)Reply[reply]