Wikipedia talk:Overcategorization

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Sportspeople by eventEdit

I would like to add sportspeople to WP:PERFECT. There is no reason to believe that a player playing in a certain event is more defining than an actor performing in a certain production. Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2014_May_11#Category:World_Series_champions resulted in a delete in 2014 and Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2021_January_18#Category:Super_Bowl_champions is about to close as a delete as well.--User:Namiba 14:45, 7 February 2021 (UTC)

  • Comment - I think athletes competing at certain levels is pretty defining for sportspeople in a way that specific performances aren’t for artists. Is your intent to include the sub-categories for cases like Category:FIFA World Cup-winning players and Category:Summer Olympics medalists by year? It seems like some of the biggest and probably most controversial cases should be tested before blanket statements are added to this guideline. Rikster2 (talk) 22:35, 7 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Comment I'd suggest seeing the result of a CfD for the world's most popular team sport at Category:Association football champions (and its subcats) before we can generalize.—Bagumba (talk) 01:29, 8 February 2021 (UTC)
  • Agree we have axed many so far - I could see an exception for Olympics because most of those sports don't have a professional league at all or they do with very different competition conditions (there are bicycle racing professionals but most seem to be road courses, not relatively short sprints; similarly, professional boxing differs substantial from its Olympic namesake). As for Category:FIFA World Cup-winning players; who won was the team, right? It's a team sport last I checked and the guy who sat on the bench for the entire tournament but was signed to the team gets the same kudos as the stars; hence, not defining. Carlossuarez46 (talk) 19:58, 9 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Agree, the underlying principle of WP:PERFCAT should apply to all occupations including sportspeople. Of course there can be rare exceptions to be discussed on a case-by-case basis, but that too should apply to all occupations. Marcocapelle (talk) 20:23, 9 March 2021 (UTC)
    • I think there is a pretty fundamental difference between the context that artists perform their craft and the contexts within which sportspeople compete. I put a discussion notification at a couple of sports projects (football, Olympics, basketball) so folks can make their case as to why this should or shouldn't happen. Rikster2 (talk) 20:45, 9 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose, kind of I generally agree with the sentiment, but there are certain categories which DO define players which ARE easily verifiable. I think it's clear that a category like 1992 Stanley Cup winners would not be okay, but a category of people whose names are on the Stanley Cup is defining and not performative. I think the exceptions are limited, but when they exist, they're pretty clear (and yes, a player who is on the bench and does not appear in the World Cup final is a World Cup winner.) SportingFlyer T·C 19:20, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
@SportingFlyer: Clearly, there's not an agreement on the Stanley Cup champions in particular since that category has survived a whopping 4 CFD nominations! The claim was made in the most recent discussion that categories for sports players in general couldn't even be considered under WP:PERFCAT. - RevelationDirect (talk) 09:34, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Olympic Comment The Olympics are a single performance but are undoubtedly WP:DEFINING for the participants, heck it's usually why the biography is WP:NOTABLE. We need not be squeamish about that exception because we make a similar one for Category:Reality television participants. The difference is that those people often are temporarily in the spotlight so they generally don't lead to category clutter based over the course of a career which is what WP:PERFCAT is all about. - RevelationDirect (talk) 09:24, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
    • But it isn’t a one-off. It’s no different than the FIFA World Cup for example. Rikster2 (talk) 12:08, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
Events occurring every year (like professional sports league championships) should be treated differently than the foremost global competitions occurring once every 4 years.--User:Namiba 14:48, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
Why? It is "performer by performance" either way (if you buy that competition is the same as performance). Rikster2 (talk) 15:56, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
If FIFA World Cup players typically don't have articles written about them after that game because they otherwise wouldn't have an article, that would also be a clear exception. I'm not trying to conflate notability and definingness here but, if someone is notable for a single reason, it's hard to argue against categorizing by that. - RevelationDirect (talk) 15:35, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Agree We should accept performance cat with a broad lens for any career where the typical member of an occupation would have category clutter from all the individual tasks they performed. This includes traditional performers, sportspeople, but also mountain climbers by mountain, politicians by blue ribbon commission, and other examples we've already seen in CFD. - RevelationDirect (talk) 09:35, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Nothing in this guideline as written sounds like sports. Competing in an Olympics, or a FIFA World Cup or winning a Stanley Cup is career-defining for thousands of athletes in a way that playing Doctor Who or performing anal sex scenes is not. There was a discussion going about Stanley Cup winners that just ended “no consensus” and I think it is unwise to change the guideline until these high-profile cases are tested through CfD. Go ahead and have the tough discussions before changing a guideline based on a handful of opinions here. Rikster2 (talk) 12:07, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
The Super Bowl and World Series aren't high profile enough, Rikster?--User:Namiba 14:47, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
Why don't you nominate the World Cup and Olympics if you feel so strongly, Namiba? If you truly think sports fits under this guideline then take on the most prominent examples. Rikster2 (talk) 15:55, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
I'm actually okay with that approach too and letting the consensus emerge from various nominations. This suggestion is based off the Stanley Cup discussion where an editor felt that sports players shouldn't even be considered under WP:PERFCAT and the proper venue was here to discuss the WP:PERFCAT guideline. The main thing is we can't have a Catch-22 where WP:CFD sends an issue to this page and WP:OC sends them to CFD; these categories need to be discussed in some venue. - RevelationDirect (talk) 15:44, 7 May 2021 (UTC)
Personally, I think there is a big difference between the Olympics / World Cup / international competitions and team-based collegiate and professional championships which occur every year.--User:Namiba 17:07, 10 May 2021 (UTC)

ESC in country categoriesEdit

Before I do a large scale nomination, I wanted to gauge whether I'm reading WP:OCVENUE properly. Is Category:Eurovision Song Contest by country and all of the categories within it suitable for a deletion discussion? While some countries have hosted several times, others have only done it once or twice. These would be extremely slow growing categories. Grk1011 (talk) 12:55, 24 March 2021 (UTC)


Is WP:OCAWARD being interpreted too narrowly? Many categories for state honours and decorations are being deleted as "non-defining". Are they really, as argued, "non-defining"? Who decides this? Is a person really any less defined by a great honour they receive from their country than by which town they were born in or where they went to school or university? This fundamentally goes to the root of what we categorise and why we categorise. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:18, 15 April 2021 (UTC)

@Necrothesp: what is your brief and neutral statement? At over 3,500 bytes, the statement above (from the {{rfc}} tag to the next timestamp) is far too long for Legobot (talk · contribs) to handle, and so it is not being shown correctly at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies. The RfC may also not be publicised through WP:FRS until a shorter statement is provided. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:08, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
Apologies. I'm sure last time I started an RfC it didn't have to be that short! -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:30, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  Thank you --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:10, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • This doesn't seem like a RfC that people can provide a clear answer on. Anyway, I disagree with your claim above. Nobel Prize clearly makes people famous above and beyond the scientific discoveries that they made, which might otherwise be known in their scientific field but not get news coverage. Same with bravery medals, many soldiers perform brave deeds but only those that are recognized lead to notability. We've been doing a great job clearing out awards that are just given out during state visits and other nondefining awards, which are often so unimportant they aren't even mentioned in the bio (thus being a verifiability issue). . (t · c) buidhe 20:15, 15 April 2021 (UTC)
    • Indeed, but these sorts of awards are not what I'm talking about. I'm referring to state awards that are actually earned, but whose categories are being deleted because a handful of editors (usually no more than three or four) have decided that they are "non-defining". -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:32, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
The lack of editors contributing to CFD is very real and cuts across most topics which generally get three or four participants. I attribute that dwindlign participation to not displaying categories on mobile view but, regardless of cause, it's a problem. - RevelationDirect (talk) 16:18, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
But it is highly subjective as to how defining or non-defining an award is. One pro-deletion comment on a recent CfD was: These people are not notable for getting the award, they are notable for other things. But this could refer to any award. For instance, nobody is notable for receiving an Oscar or a Nobel Prize; they are notable for doing whatever it was that earned them that award in the first place. The award merely emphasises their notability. We should certainly delete categories for awards that are made simply for being there or doing one's routine job (e.g. long service awards, campaign medals, wound awards) or awards simply for being a member of a royal family or a visiting head of state, but should we be deleting categories for awards that are actually earned? Particularly when most of those deletions follow a debate with only a handful of opinions being expressed by the same editors. The fact that some of the people (or even most of those currently in the category) who were awarded the honour may have been foreign nationals awarded it in an honorary capacity is irrelevant if most of those awarded it were citizens of the nation for their services to the nation. -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:30, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I find comments like this one, from one of the editors prominent in the deletion of these categories, particularly disturbing: I have not formed an opinion yet whether the underlying award is defining or not... The award in question is the Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom), a very well-known award that is invariably used as a postnominal by its recipients and is most certainly defining. Given the comment and given that hardly anyone takes part in these discussions, I am waiting for deletion of these categories to soon get expanded, and I really don't think that is valuable to Wikipedia. My area of expertise is in British honours, but I think many of the non-British honours categories that have already been deleted are defining. One particularly worrying example is Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2021 March 25#Category:Royal Guelphic Order, which was most certainly defining (and often awarded to British recipients, given the King of Hanover was also the King of Great Britain). The comment that The fact that this was given out widely in England to people with no connection to Hanover is the basis for the nomination seems to me to indicate dogma (we must delete all these categories) winning out over reality (these awards were in reality used as an extension of the British honours system). -- Necrothesp (talk) 09:51, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    • DFC was sometimes awarded as an honor, sometimes apparently as a service award for completing a certain number of missions. So in my opinion it is indeed reasonable to discuss whether it's defining. Being useable as a postnominal does not make an award inherently defining, in my opinion. Anyway, such a vague RfC is not going to get useful results. (t · c) buidhe 11:03, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
      • The DFC was never in any way a service award (in the USAF, maybe, where it is not even a third-level award, but not in the RAF). If it was, it would have been awarded to every pilot who took part in the Battle of Britain, for instance. It was not. An RfC simply provides a forum for wider discussion than is provided by poorly attended Cfds. That is its value. RfCs are a way to attract more attention to a discussion about making changes to pages or procedures, including articles, essays, guidelines, policies, and many other kinds of pages. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:12, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
        • That's not what was stated at this discussion.[1] (t · c) buidhe 01:43, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
          • Well, if someone said it then it must be 100% true! However, it isn't true. Yes, it was indeed sometimes awarded to an officer who undertook many missions with courage above and beyond. But it was (and is) always an honour, never, ever just an automatic "service award" given to Flight Lieutenant Buggins for simply flying a defined number of missions. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:20, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
Courtesy I'm a little surprised to find a quote from myself listed as the absolute low point in a WP:CFD discussions without tagging me so I can respond. Despite the lengthy discussion above about the merits of deleting Category:Recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom), that category remains and has never been nominated. Rather, the actual CFD nomination was about whether we should keep separate subcategories for people who won that award 2 and 3 times, something we've consistently decided against with other awards. - RevelationDirect (talk) 12:01, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Are they really, as argued, "non-defining"? Who decides this?: The CfD participants. While subjective, defining seems best captured by WP:COPDEF: the reason(s) for the person's notability; i.e., the characteristics the person is best known for (emphasis added by me).—Bagumba (talk) 10:17, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    • My point is that with so few participants in the Cfds it needs wider discussion. We categorise many things. We invariably categorise where someone was born or grew up, which schools or universities they attended, etc. Are those usually the "reasons for their notability" or "what they are best known for"? No, they are not. Not even their years of birth or death are. Yet still we categorise all of them. Why those and not other things, such as major awards? This seems pretty random. At the end of the day, why do we categorise at all? -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:12, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
      There's a separate type of categorization that COPDEF lays out, standard biographical details, that might account for a lot of what one might not "be best known for". Regarding why we categorize, I've never totally figured it out, which is why I generally dont create new categories anymore nor participate much in CfDs.—Bagumba (talk) 01:15, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
      I would support deleting all alumni categories, as it indeed isn't defining. (t · c) buidhe 01:43, 17 April 2021 (UTC)
      I'm curious as to what you actually think is defining? And what you see the point of categorisation as being. Because it would appear that our interpretations of the latter are wildly different. I see it as a useful tool to group articles for ease of navigation as stated at the top of Wikipedia:Overcategorization. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:20, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Completely agree with your concern on the dwindling number of participants in CFD discussions. Since most readers don't see categories anymore, interest from editors has declined dramatically. If Wikipedia doesn't revers it's decision to not show categories on mobile view, I'm concerned that decline will continue. -RevelationDirect (talk) 12:07, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Two things: I have no idea what this RfC is supposed to be about; and, after a spot-check of five or six of the CfDs, I also would have !voted to delete. I don't see anything untoward going on here, apart from low CfD participation, which has been the case for a long time. SportingFlyer T·C 18:43, 16 April 2021 (UTC)
    • I'm not saying it's "untoward" in any way. I'm saying that in my opinion it's being interpreted too narrowly and there isn't enough participation to establish any sort of consensus. Hence the request for wider participation. -- Necrothesp (talk) 15:20, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Objection to RfC: Unclear, likely non-neutral question. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 17:37, 21 April 2021 (UTC)
  • I don't mind an open-ended RFC. These aren't supposed to be votes anyway. But it is less likely that a clear and obvious consensus will emerge when unstructured.
    Fundamentally categories are a way of helping people find things. The reason to restrict inclusion to defining cases is ultimately because if every bio, or more generally page, with a tangential connection is included they cease to serve the purpose of aiding navigation, because most of the contents are not what people are looking for or thinking about when they browse the category. More specifically on the OP's point, the answer really comes down to whether allowing browsing by decorations/honours aids navigation, being mindful that while no one additional category impedes quick reference that past a certain point it becomes increasingly difficult for the casual reader to survey and search from the linked categories at a glance. But that's just my assessment, YMMV. (talk) 15:01, 28 April 2021 (UTC)
  • The originator of this RfC is now copying and pasting to many CFD discussions variants of "Ludicrous nomination and suggests that some editors are determined to delete all categories for awards". Shows a lack of WP:AGF IMO, since as far as I know no one (certainly not me) has actually said they are "determined to delete all categories for awards", and all the nominations are backed up by checks and a rationale. (t · c) buidhe 21:08, 29 April 2021 (UTC)
  • Support Per Necrothesp. Anyone who thinks that "These people are not notable for getting the award, they are notable for other things" is a reason for deleting a category completely and utterly misunderstands categorisation. A category of award recipients should exist only if receiving the award is a defining characteristic for the large majority of its notable recipients. Also: when did two people become consensus? All the CfDs above should be overturned. Hawkeye7 (discuss) 03:09, 5 May 2021 (UTC)
  • I didn't realise that this discussion was happening until now. I think what I want from this RfC is a clearer definition of what makes an award "defining" or not. It clearly isn't the same thing as "what they are notable for" - notability is a specific thing in a wiki context. WP:DEFINING states "A defining characteristic is one that reliable sources commonly and consistently define[1] the subject as having" and divides it into the two categories of (1) standard biographical details and (2) "the characteristics the person is best known for" - it seems to me that very few awards fall into category 2 ("Oscar winner", "Nobel prize winner" and the like) and that this fact is where the people who are inclined to delete are coming from. On the other hand, the people who are inclined to keep (which includes me), are either working from the idea that some key awards count as "standard biographical details". I think this is what we are doing when we include awards, like the OBE, NZOM, etc that appear as postnomials, and I'd like to see it extended to the top civil and military awards of other nations... Does that seem reasonable? (with some flexibility built in). But for the Anglosphere (especially American military awards) we clearly go way beyond the top awards. And for Luxembourg, we ended up voting at CfD not to include the top civil award as a category. Furius (talk) 00:20, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
@Furius: A challenge will be figuring out what the "top" awards really are in practice. If you look at Orders, decorations, and medals of Namibia#Orders, Orders, decorations, and medals of Bulgaria#Orders, or Orders, decorations, and medals of Brunei#State decorations the official "top" award is exclusively/automatic given to heads of state, foreign leaders or royalty and that's common. The "real" top award that's actually given for accomplishments is often the further down the list. All that being said, blindly categorizing by the top military and civilian award from each country and listifying the rest would be better than our current system where we get category clutter, inconsistency, and spend a lot of editor time discussing categories most readers can't see.RevelationDirect (talk) 15:59, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Yes, you're right about "top" (which is also unclear on whether it means only the very top or the top couple of awards or what...), but I think that some formulation that is a little more mechanical would save a lot of trouble - at the moment people participating in CfD discussions are regularly talking past each other because they don't agree on what a "defining award" is, and that doesn't seem like a good situation. Although a part of me hates deleting anything, I don't really mind whether the result is a similar number of award categories to present or far fewer. Furius (talk) 16:09, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Exempting British Honours from WP:OCAWARD? @Necrothesp: I'm confused by the specific rationale for some of your concerns. In this nomination, you indicated that
"All British state honours are defining" and that it was "ridiculous" that a British award was nominated under WP:OCAWARD.
But in a later nomination, you expressed concern that
"We are applying double standards to well-known honours from Anglophone countries against not so well-known (to Anglophones) honours from non-Anglophone countries".
Now those nominations had specific contexts but both were general statements that I'm having trouble reconciling. Can you clarify here how you would favor treating British vs. non-British awards? @Necrothesp:RevelationDirect (talk) 12:19, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
As you very well know, I favour keeping all these categories. My point was that British honours are among the most defining of the lot because they carry postnominals that are invariably used and often titles that are invariably used as well. -- Necrothesp (talk) 12:37, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
  • Procedural oppose. This RFC is procedurally flawed as no attempt was made to reach many involved editors. As far as I am aware, today is the first time that this RFC is being advertised at WP:CFD. The RFC could/should have been mentioned by nominator in every award discussion at CfD that they participated in. Also, we had a very elaborate RFC about OCAWARD just a year ago, the contributors to that discussion could/should have been pinged. Marcocapelle (talk) 14:16, 6 May 2021 (UTC)
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