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Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2018-12-24/Discussion report

< Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost‎ | 2018-12-24
A new record low for RfA: Plus: reliable sources, notability, and fallout from the self-blocking software changes.


More WP:RSN discussions

There were many discussions this month about the practice of deprecating sources deemed to be extremely unreliable (i.e. caught multiple times fabricating stories). Deprecated sources are strongly discouraged from being used in articles and may not be used to establish notability.[a] As proposals to deprecate additional sources stacked up, other editors weren't so sure.

  • The Sun is a British tabloid that some consider even less reliable than the Daily Mail. Many supporters were surprised it wasn't deprecated already. Opposers, meanwhile, warned of instruction creep and apparent left-wing bias in deprecating mostly right-wing sources (out of the 5 deprecated/banned sources on WP:RSP, only Occupy Democrats is listed on adfontesmedia.com as left-wing). The community is very divided on this issue, with 24 supports and 21 opposes as of December 21.
  • WorldNetDaily is a far-right site described on WP:RSP as promoting conspiracy theories and lies. There was a strong consensus to deprecate it.
  • There's also a proposal the other way: to un-deprecate the Daily Mail. Some supporters argue that a change in editors has led to an improvement in the paper's reliability; many opposers disagree on this point, though some are open to change in the future after more time to see if the tabloid has improved in their opinion.

Administrators: ending with a whimper?

RFA candidates by year.png
2018 saw half as many RfAs as 2017, though a higher percentage were successful.

Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship/Archive_252#Nine was a lively conversation for November and the first week of December, concerning the new record low nine admins recruited this year (now ten, still a record low). The conversation petered out without any plan for action. B

Other discussions this month

  • On WP:VPP: Should victims of tragedies who would not otherwise have their own articles be listed in the article about the event?
  • On WT:N: Can interviews be used to establish notability? The argument is that they are not independent of the subject because the subject was involved in creating them.
  • When the ability for admins to unblock themselves was removed from the MediaWiki software, a new feature was added to block the admin who blocked you. Wikipedians are now discussing under what circumstances such blocks should be acceptable.

Follow-ups

  • After Dr. Blofeld offered to incubate substubs he created, the community concluded that some content was better than no content, so the articles remained in mainspace.
  • The following Bot Approval Group inactivity policy proposal was enacted:
    BAG members are expected to be active on Wikipedia to have their finger on the pulse of the community. After two years without any bot-related activity (such as posting on bot-related pages, posting on a bot's talk page, or operating a bot), BAG members will be retired from BAG following a one-week notice. Retired members can re-apply for BAG membership as normal if they wish to rejoin the BAG.
  • The Community Wishlist Survey results have been released. Currently, every successful item is "pending investigation". More details are to be found in this issue's News and notes.

  1. ^ This is often misleadingly called "banning" sources; only a very small number of possible sources, such as Breitbart and InfoWars have been formally banned via en entry on the spam blacklist.