Wikipedia talk:Wikipedia is not for things made up one day

Active discussions


Before I get to The Tag: First, this page is useful because it helps explain to countless schoolchildren and college students why they are wrong to think that it would be just a great idea to add to Wikipedia the thing they made up in school today. Second, the basic principles enunciated on this page are totally redundant with the core policies WP:V, WP:OR, and WP:NPOV. Sort of like User:Redvers/Your band.

That said (by me and by others before me; see above discussions), I think the sparring over which tag belongs (essay, guideline, policy) is silly. Even though this page is built on policy principles, the page itself is neither a policy nor a guideline and should have neither {{guideline}} nor {{policy}}. It shouldn't be tagged {{essay}} either because we don't want new editors, when directed to this page, to think that the principles on this page "merely reflect[] some opinions of its authors."

Why do we need a tag at all? Pan Dan 14:20, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

  • You haven't actually explained why it is "not a guideline". Guidelines are not an all-encompassing rulebook, but rather pages to point out how Wikipedia works with common situations. Many guidelines overlap with, or clarify parts of, policy. Nobody is seriously suggesting that Wikipedia is for TMUISOD, which indicates that this page is a textbook definition of a wikt:guideline. >Radiant< 14:42, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
    • I agree that WP:NFT is a guideline given your description of what a guideline is. But many editors perceive Wikipedia guidelines as being less strict than Wikipedia policies. For example look at the language in the guideline template: "[I]t is not set in stone and should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception." That's not really true of WP:NFT, because the principles it enunciates are (non-negotiable) policies. We don't want new editors, when directed to this page, to think that their cool, though sadly unverifiable, ideas fit in "the occasional exception" category. Pan Dan 15:02, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
      • If you believe it is stronger than guidelines, it makes little sense to make it appear weaker than guidelines; these very new editors you mention tend to ignore any and every page that is "not even a guideline". Perhaps we could edit the page to clarify what the actual exceptions are - for instance, freak dancing was made up in school one day and happens to be encyclopedic. >Radiant< 15:06, 19 June 2007 (UTC)
        • I don't think that leaving WP:NFT tagless makes it appear weaker than guidelines, because WP:NFT is an explicator of, and a pointer to, the actual core policies (especially WP:V). (I.e. a smart-aleck new editor arguing "But WP:NFT is not even a guideline" can be answered by citing WP:V.) On the other hand, tagging it as a guideline makes it appear weaker than policy, which I think is wrong.

          A note on Freak dancing and other purported exceptions to WP:NFT: those things are not exceptions to the actual content of WP:NFT, though they are exceptions to the literal meaning of the title of the page. The content of WP:NFT already explains that something that is literally "made up in school one day" may turn out to be verifiable and therefore encyclopedic. It doesn't make sense to me to talk of "exceptions" to WP:NFT, because WP:NFT is just a helpful page that explains policy to new editors; it's neither a policy itself, nor a guideline.

          That said, I'm all for adding Freak dancing to the page as an example that could help new editors understand WP:V better. Pan Dan 15:34, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

Have any of you experienced firsthand where a violator of this policy/guideline/essay/widget read this article, and then reformed their ways and became a valuable contributor? Maybe we should ask someone from the target audience what they think?
My concern all along with this article has been that, when I was a teenager, if someone had deleted a bunch of stuff I wrote and pointed me to this article, it would have just pissed me off. heh... If there really are some young folks out there who have gained value from this article, it would begood if we could get one or more of them involved in this discussion, to see what works, what doesn't, etc. Otherwise, we are just speculating. --Jaysweet 19:41, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Good point! I must admit my praise for this widget is based on speculation but no personal experience. Can't speak for others of course. Pan Dan 20:24, 20 June 2007 (UTC)
Not experienced first hand, no - mainly because when I came across this article I thought it was patronising and might be counterproductive, so I have never used it. I'll not bang on ad nauseum though; endless criticism serves no purpose. If we can improve the tone etc to make this article more generally useful then great - if not, we don't have to use it.
Re the target audience, I hope no-one minds but I've taken the liberty of asking an editor here from the right age group if they wouldn't mind dropping by and leaving their views. I doubt if they ever fell foul of the guideline, but I agree that it would at least help to inform the debate a little ;) EyeSereneTALK 21:13, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Personal experienceEdit

I was asked by EyeSerene to comment on this issue, so I will.

I happen to fit into the "Wikipedians attending school" category. In my experience, there are two kinds of people who contrib to wiki: Nerds and idiots. the nerds fall into three categories.

  • 1: People (like me) who want to contribute their collosal knowledge base to better the page.

  • 2: People who THINK that they know a lot and try to contrib to wiki
  • 3: Nerds who, because they're slightly off in the head, decide that they want to mess up wiki and screw stuff up. This group's relatively small, since the IP's of most schools are now blocked.

there is also the idiot category.

  • 1: Idiots who THINK that they know everything and try to contribute
  • 2: Idiots who think it's fun to vandalize wiki
  • 3: People who think that their brand new "company" is important, and want to make a wiki article about it.

The last one is personal experience. My schoolmate tried to make a wikipage about his "company", and it was deleted faster than you can say "Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day". Just personal experience. Cam 17:36, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Rename articleEdit

The title of this page. It's really condescending and undignified. If I were young I would feel insulted by the implicit presumption that I'm an idiot. We need to decide. If this is addressed to youngsters we should say so and not try to talk down to them, some derivative of "Guideline for young editors". If this is for everyone it should be something like "Do not make things up."

Two earlier proposed moves failed, but that was last year when Wikipedia didn't have such an issue with credibility. Also, this was an essay then and the arguments against were based on that. Wikidemo 12:00, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

There is a good discussion at Wikipedia:Relevance of content/Content policy analysis about restructuring and condensing the content guidelines. I've never cared for this title but it pretty well protected by its proponents. --Kevin Murray 19:54, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

I wasn't really around for the last discussion on the name, but from what I can see it got sidetracked and then fizzled out. However, some good points were raised, and I tend to agree that the name could be improved. I'd suggest "Wikipedia is not for things which you and your friends made up one day" along the lines of Jaysweet's suggestion. I think it has two advantages over the current title: first it's less likely to be read as patronising towards younger editors; and secondly it makes clear that it applies to things which were made up outside of school as well. I've seen it applied (hell, I've done it myself once or twice) at AfDs to articles along the lines of "This is a game invented by Joe Bloggs and me in the car park after work last summer" and while such articles certainly fit the spirit of the guideline, it's on the whole rather incongruous, and possibly insulting, to direct their creators to it. If the name is changed, the exact wording of the guideline would need a bit of changing as well, but that's easily done. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:21, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

  • I don't think there'd be anything wrong with renaming the page, so long as the NFT abbrevacronym still parsed. Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up one day would probably suffice just fine. I can attest from personal direct experience that many noob editors do in fact mistake this guideline as only applying to material made up by school kids; I can't tell you how many times I have seen responses like "What?!? I'm not a school kid! I'm a [insert professional title relevant to the context of the article in question here]!" The guideline's effectiveness could probably be extended by genericizing its title a little. And making it less condescending would be more in tune with WP:CIVIL, WP:BITE and WP:NPA, thus reducing (slightly) the strife level at AfD. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:44, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
What are the parameters of time when "makin something". Wikipedia could have been made up in one day. Why should it have an entry on Wikipedia. Isn't it's inclusion on the project Wikipedia:NPOV according to it's own rules? (talk) 05:29, 18 November 2019 (UTC)
Every article should be written from a neutral point of view. I'm not sure what you were trying to say here.
Yes, everything is "made up". Some of those things, however, are notable.
Wikipedia has an article because it is the subject of substantial coverage in independent reliable sources (A sampling, in no particular order: The Atlantic, BBC, CBS News, The Daily Telegraph, Encyclopædia Britannica, First Monday, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, The Independent, Journal on Telecommunications and High Technology Law, Kuro5hin, Los Angeles Times, MIT Technology Review, Nature, The New York Times, Occidental Petroleum, PC World, Quarterly Journal of Xenophobic Editors, The Register, Salt Lake City Weekly, Time, University of Hawaii Press, Visual Communication Lab: IBM Research, The Washington Post,, Yale University Press, When the story of your school's cafeteria workers fighting to avoid being replaced by robots from another planet has that kind of coverage, it will be notable too. Until then, it's just some crazy nonsense you dreamed up in school one day. - SummerPhDv2.0 14:46, 18 November 2019 (UTC)

Essay tagEdit

I object to the addition of an {{essay}} tag. It says that "editors are not bound by its advice", which gives the wrong impression. The {{guideline}} tag says that it is "not set in stone and should be treated with the occasional exception", which is not true, it should most definitely not be treated with the occasional exception. A {{policy}} tag seems a bit excessive to me, as this is a slightly ironic page and refers to relevant policy pages (like WP:V, WP:OR, WP:NOT etc) rather than being a policy page itself. I suggest keeping the tags out entirely, per WP:NOTEVERYPAGEINPROJECTNAMESPACENEEDSACOLOUREDBOX. The nutshell is enough. Melsaran (talk) 18:54, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

  • Seems a bit counter to our customs, but why not see what happens. --Kevin Murray 22:45, 14 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Melsaran, I believe that you, like so many before you (see duplicative topics above in the archives) are greatly overthinking this. Please do not be so literal and alarmist. The {{Guideline}} tag's wording is accurate, because WP:IAR is policy, and trumps all guidelines (when, rarely, used appropriately). In point of fact, WP:NFT can actually be trumped quite readily. Despite its (sometimes criticized as condescending) name, WP:NFT applies to things made up one day, period, not just in school. If George W. Bush's next speech includes the made-up phrase "weapons of quasi-mass destruction", and that phrase has important US and international policy implications, you can expect there to be an article on it very shortly, and WP:NFT will most likely be countermanded (probably because the primary notability criterion will have been met by then with multiple, independent reliable sources). As for the {{Essay}} tag, your objection is likewise off the mark, as what it says actually applies to guidelines, too. There is no "wrong impression" here. When people cite WP:NFT at WP:AFD, what they are really doing is saying "that guideline (or essay if you prefer) summarizes my thoughts on this matter; it accurately applies WP:N, WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV and WP:COI to the situation presented here." — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:39, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
The recent consensus here is that this is not a guideline. Consensus can change and it seems that it has moved away from support for this as a guideline. Please do not replace the guideline tag without demonatrating some consensus. --Kevin Murray 14:55, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
You've got to be kidding me. Concensus has certainly not changed. All of Wikipedia uses this as a guideline. It is relied upon as authoritatively guiding in WP:AFD every other minute of every single day. A handful of complainants on one talk page does not change that fact and are not enough to change a very long-standing and very solid consensus.
Some very salient direct quotes from WP:CONSENSUS: "If we find that a particular consensus happens often, we write it down as a guideline, to save people the time having to discuss the same principles over and over." This is precisely the case here. There is absolutely no question that there is a Wikipedia-wide general consensus that the advice in this document does in fact have consensus as to its nature, scope and particulars. "Even a majority of a limited group of editors will almost never outweigh community consensus on a wider scale", which is precisely the case here (i.e. a very, very limited group of editors, namely WP:NFT naysayers, have formed a little, temporary micro-"majority" on this talk page, despite having been shouted down again and again on this matter in previous discussion here ("asking the other parent") and elsewhere ("forum shopping"). Next: "No one person, and no (limited) group of people, can unilaterally declare that community consensus has changed", which is again an accurate description of what has been happening here lately. Finally, a longer one that is also descriptive of what's been going on here: "'Asking the other parent': It is very easy to create the appearance of a changing consensus simply by asking again and hoping that a different and more sympathetic group of people will discuss the issue. This, however, is a poor example of changing consensus, and is antithetical to the way that Wikipedia works. Wikipedia's decisions are not based on the number of people who showed up and voted a particular way on a particular day. It is based on a system of good reasons. Attempts to change consensus must be based on a clear engagement with the reasons behind the current consensus ... A good sign that you have not demonstrated a change in consensus, so much as a change in the people showing up, is if few or none of the people involved in the previous discussion show up for the new one. In this situation you may find that any changes you make ... are quickly reverted by people outside the new talk page discussion. Do not be tempted to edit war but instead post comments on the talk page encouraging others to participate in the new discussion."
I'm restoring the guideline tag you keep removing against self-evident, system-wide consensus. If you think that WP:NFT is not a guideline, then ask for broader community input here via WP:RFC (I've done this for you; see below) instead of simply asserting your new vision's veracity again and again, please. If you're right, a large number of people will agree with you, and few will disagree, and consensus may well change. However, the case here seems to be that you believe that NFT shouldn't be a guideline. Please note that this is a very different issue from the previously-mentioned "is not" case (about whether or not NFT's content reflects general consensus on a particular class of material in a way that is useful and reliable for citation, as at AFD). A "should not be" case is a mind-changing campaign you need to take up at WP:VPP, to convince people that there is something deeply misguided about this projectpage, since the community very clearly disagrees with you at present, and relies upon this guideline regularly and heavily (the fact that it does so makes it a guideline, by definition, even if it does have a minor condescension issue, which even I agree it does, but which can be fixed with some minor copyediting and a move to a shorter page name (i.e., nonissues, basically).
SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 06:50, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Can you make your points without so much text? Consensus is not evaluated by the pound. --Kevin Murray 07:24, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
When my debate opponents are clearly misinterpreting WP:CONSENSUS and related policies and guidelines to such an extent that I have to quote the relevant material from them directly in order to get the point across, then no, I can't. Sorry. — SMcCandlish[talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:18, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
This is not a debate. Debates are held between good-looking people, who can articulate clearly, in real life. This is Internet bickering, and carries no such onus for long, unreadable sentences. Yet, they're almost always there. (talk) 13:56, 25 May 2009 (UTC)
I'd just like to clarify that my own view that the name and wording need tweaking slightly does not mean that I don't think that this, or something very like it, should be a guideline, and I suspect that the same is true of most people who have made similar points. The essay tag implies that the substance of the page is not widely accepted, and unless there are a sizable number of people arguing that Wikipedia is for things that were made up in school one day (which I don't see at all), that's simply not true - the page follows more or less directly from well-established policy, especially WP:V and WP:NOR. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 07:32, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Exactly; and a further problem with such "activistic" use of {{Essay}}, like similar, frequent misuse of {{Disputedpolicy}}, is that is misapprehends what a guideline fundamentally is and how something becomes designated a guideline, and fails to understand that we don't "demote" them to essays to twiddle with some wording (a failed guideline is {{Rejected}} and tends to stay that way, and the odds of NFT being rejected are astronomically small. :-) PS: In the RFC below, I did not intend to imply that everyone who thinks some wording changes are in order (which includes me) are "demoters", if that was any concern, only that the "demoters" (other than occasional noobs who got their NFT article deleted and so want to attack the guideline) seem to have little rationale besides that one and are taking it too far. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 13:18, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Request for comments on guideline vs. essay designation of WP:NFTEdit

Tone concerns cause some to question WP:NFT's guideline designation, others see NFT as one of WP:AFD's most relied upon and stable guidelines.

  • Comment: (Disclaimer: I am a party to the dispute here, pro-guideline.) As well-documented in the thread immediately above, this is clearly a guideline. I actually agree that it has tone copyediting issues that need to be resolved, but that doesn't magically "demote" one of our most-used article criteria guidelines to a random essay, it just means some copyediting needs to be done, a fairly trivial matter, subject to ongoing discussion in other threads above and in the archives, including a rename discussion. NFT has Wikipedia-wide buy-in, despite its minor problems, and has for a very long time; Wikipedia:Consensus is satisfied. Wikipedia:Consensus can change has not been satisfied at all by essay-designation proponents, whose approach to this matter appears to fit the cautionary patterns detailed at Wikipedia:Consensus (also as detailed in the topic immediately above this one, especially the warning against believing that a small group of internally-unanimous editors somewhere can somehow trump the consensus of the community as a whole). It is my contention that, as with common abuse of {{Disputedtag}} as at Wikipedia:Manual of Style recently, proponents of the "demotion" are (aside from seeing guidelines and essays as ranked statuses that something can be promoted or demoted to) also confusing very-minority disputations and broader minor wording quibbles with what it means to have an actual change in consensus or even a genuine community dispute over whether something is a guideline. Further, I believe that there has been a clear failure to distinguish the questions "is this a guideline" (i.e. does it accurately reflect community-wide and frequently arrived-at consensus on a commonly arising Wikipedian issue) and "should this be a guideline", a very different, wikipolitical, personal point of view issue that, being a direct challenge to the wisdom of what is presently the clearly observable consensus, is a matter for broad and lengthy discussion at Wikipedia:Village pump (policy) (if it garners any interest at all, which strikes me as unlikely) - it would have to be a campaign to change systemic views of how WP:V, WP:N, WP:COI, WP:NEO, WP:RS, WP:INDY, WP:NPOV, etc., etc., apply and interact collectively and cohesively to recent inventions and coinages - not a matter for this talk page or a matter of what template to put on this project page. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 08:24, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Do any of those proposing demotion have any reason beyond the procedural? Do people think that wikipedia is the right place for "things made up in school one day" and so forth? The page seems to document widespread wikipedia practice, so being a guideline is natural and makes sense. SamBC(talk) 08:32, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I believe the only real point is the one made here, that official policies should not seem to belittle the contributions of a certain group. (I've archived this because it's difficult to follow multiple conversations at once on a 70k page.)
    That said, this can be fixed by rewording the title. The guideline itself is rock-solid, and shouldn't be demoted to essay-class over what is basically a style issue. Chris Cunningham 09:26, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • As things made up in school one day and similar regularly get deleted, either speedily or through AFD, the page clearly has consensus support. It is also quite polite for a necessary page that helps Wikipedia to avoid turning into Urban Dictionary. It is a {{guideline}} (and even if somebody demotes it to {{essay}}, it won't stop me from using it as a reason to speedily delete articles about things made up in school one day). Kusma (talk) 10:58, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Kusma, I don't think that anyone here is arguing that things made up in school belong in WP. What is being said is (1) we have plenty of other guidelines which already handle the issues, and (2) the title and content is both condescending to some users and in my mind embarrassing to the project. At my house we pee in the toilet not on the floor, but we don't have a guideline posted in the bathroom to reinforce the obvious reasoning. --Kevin Murray 16:51, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I agree that it should be an essay and not carry the endorsement of making a guideline, both for the tone (which will strike some young people as condescending and pedantic) and the fact that it doesn't actually add anything to what anyone should or should not do on Wikipedia. It's just a guide to point to, not a source of rules. We shouldn't clutter up guideline-space with that.Wikidemo 14:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Update - I'm fine with calling this a "policy summary" in connection with improving the tone, both as addressed below. Wikidemo 21:06, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Essay per Wikidemo. This is to WP:NOT what Wikipedia:Handling trivia is to WP:TRIVIA -- it's a guide for how a guideline is supposed to be handled in practice. If this is a guideline, it's a redundant one for which a much better and more neutrally-worded guideline already exists.
    Equazcionargue/improves15:04, 09/27/2007
  • That's factually incorrect, though, as already pointed out twice (in this RFC and in the thread preceding it); WP:NFT is a guide (as in guideline) to the interpretation and integration of WP:NOT, WP:V, WP:RS, WP:NPOV, WP:INDY, WP:N, WP:COI and many others, as they jointly apply to a particular class of article topic. It is not simply a summary or rewrite or riff off of WP:NOT. The underlying idea is faulty, too, though: WP:RS is similarly an examination of the application and interaction of WP:V (and WP:NPOV to an extent) - thus WP:ATT's former attempted and failed integration of them - but is not an essay, it is a guideline. Nothing at WP:POLICY says that something is not a guideline simply because it overlaps and narrowly applies something(s) else that is/are also guidelines or policies. Guidelines are guidelines because they accurately encapsulate community consensus as to the issues within the scope of the guideline. And, if it were actually redundant it would not be relied upon heavily at AFD. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 16:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • It's not factually incorrect, because nothing I said was factual. It was an opinion, albeit one that you seem to disagree with, and one that I'll continue to try and clarify. It's silly to make a guideline that says "If you learned something in school that you can't source, don't add it." I mean, duh. We've got some guidelines already that say not to add unsourced information. Shall we also make a guideline that says not to add things you heard via urban legends or your grandfather unless you can source them? I mean if the aim here is to address every common scenario where editors may be tempted to violate existing guidelines, shouldn't those be included too? Or shall we just stick to the root of the problem and address that instead, as is already adequately done without this guideline?
    Equazcionargue/improves19:34, 09/27/2007
  • Patently absurd, as you did make several allegedly factual statements about the nature of WP:NFT; backpedaling to "oh, I'm just expressing my opinion" doesn't make them any more incorrect now than they were when you wrote them. You are making less and less sense. WP:NFT has nothing to do with what people learn in school. If it were a matter of "duh", WP:AFD would not be filled on a daily basis with deletion debates about the kinds of articles WP:AFD covers (on recently made up things that aren't notable, can't be verified, are usually written non-neutrally and by their inventors, etc., etc. The urban legends/grandpa example is off the mark, since such articles are not a daily AFD problem. The aim is no to address ever scenario; it is to address the needs actually felt by the community at WP:AFD. This is what you don't seem to comprehend. If the root of the problem were adequately addressed, this document would not exist as a heavily relied-upon guideline. Just to help you grok this, I'll try to explain further: It is not immediately apparent to all editors, including noobs, non-noobs whose experience does no extend very far into AfD, non-noobs who misapprehend deletion policy and must be referred to WP:AADD all the time, non-noobs who are overly emotional about topics that appeal to them, non-noobs who do not understand how all of the various WP:NFT-related policies and guidelines subtly interact, etc., etc., etc. WP:NFT very succinctly and clearly explains all of this to all of those sorts of users, who are very common (unlike editors who want to write articles about yarns they heard from grandpa), and who simply don't "get it" when referred to the individual root documents. I really hope this helps you understand all of this better. If not, maybe take it to my talk page, or start a new topic thread here about "what WP:NFT is for", or something, so that this RFC section doesn't get mired further in this particular side discussion. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
  • I think I've already made my position clear, but just to clarify this "fact" stuff, I didn't backpedal at all. I stated opinions that I still stand by. This is a guide for handling a specific type of guideline violation. Just because it's a statement doesn't make it a statement of fact. It is my opinion. I'm sure you see differently. We are in disagreement. I am okay with that. :)
    Equazcionargue/improves06:17, 09/28/2007
  • Okay. I just want to be clear that if you phrase things as statements of fact ("This is..." , "'s a...", "If this is a guideline, it's a...), they will be interpreted as you presenting (your position on) what the facts are, and you can expect those assertions of fact to be challeged by those who do no agree as to their veracity. Saying "it's just my opinion" won't prevent that, since everything any of us say here is just opinion; none of us are omnicient. Anyway, I don't want to fight with you about trivial matters like this; just trying to make it clear why I challenged what you said as counterfactual.— SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:38, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
  • What about removing the (highly disputed) tag (that doesn't really add anything to the page and is mostly superfluous) altogether? See my suggestion above. Melsaran (talk) 15:13, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • If you're suggesting removing all tags, I don't see anything wrong with that, but I don't think it's very realistic. People are eventually going to come across it and want to know what it is, and then someone will inevitably tag it as an essay.
    Equazcionargue/improves15:32, 09/27/2007
  • The guideline tag isn't "highly disputed" at all; I think I count 5 editors who have a problem with WP:NFT being labelled a guideline (as opposed to having some issues with its tone or focus on students vs. made-up-stuff article creators more generally). I have to echo about half of what Equazcion says above (sans the okay-to-delete-all-such-tags sentiment) that because the tag (whatever it says) is there for a reason, removal of it from this projectpage will simply cause it to be added again. This is not the forum for challenging the utility or acceptance of the templates in Category:Wikipedia header templates as a family or individually. The issue before us is whether this projectpage is in fact a guideline, or just an essay that some significant or insignificant number of editors happen to appreciate, like WP:TEA or WP:MASTODON to pick some popular examples. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 16:08, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • It seems to me that it's worth having a seperate page for (preferably reworded to avoid the focus on "school") simply because it's a specific that comes up a lot. Having it a a guidelines, or anything with official status, is very useful. It seems that no-one disagrees with the actual intent or meaning, just feels that it's stylistically bad or poorly titled, or that it's redundant. However, redundancy in our policies and guidelines is hardly new, and not inherently a problem, as long as the redundant bits are consistent. SamBC(talk) 16:30, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Where I am confused is how anything which would be deleted under the authority of this guideline would not easily be deleted under the authority of either notability or verifiability? What is the point to having one more redundant or obsolete advice page? --Kevin Murray 16:54, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Explained at greater length above; the short version is that it is not very clear to a great number of editors how all of the policies and guidelines interact with each other when it comes o articles of this sort (which are added by the dozens, at least, every single day); this guideline explains it very clearly, and also greatly speeds up WP:AFD debates, since only WP:NFT need be cited, instead of the 5 or 10 other policies and guidelines that WP:NFT integrates (integrates with respect to this particular kind of article). It would do a lot of harm to AFD to remove NFT or to relegate it to something editors no longer feel they can rely upon authoritatively. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I share many of the concerns about the tone of the page (see my comments in the sections above), however, these are easily fixed, and I think there's already a consensus to do so. I'd probably be bold and do it now if the page wasn't protected. I think the tone problems are therefore a separate issue to the question of what tag (if any) the page should ultimately have.
There is a genuine issue with newbies creating articles to promote the new word they invented at school, a new drinking game they invented at a student party, or a new baseball variant they invented in the car-park after work, and it's useful to have a politely worded page summarising the reasons why such articles are inappropriate, rather than referring the poor newbies to half a dozen different policies and guidelines. My problem with sticking an essay tag on the top of the page is that it implies that "Wikipedia is not for things you made up recently" (or whatever it ends up being called) is that it implies that the content is just the opinion of a few editors, and not necessarily to be followed - which is certainly not the case. Therefore, I don't think it should be tgged as anything weaker than a content guideline. Like Sambc, I don't necessarily see redundancy in guidelines as a problem - but if people do object to it, how about Template:Policy summary - it points out that the page includes summaries of policies and guidelines (which it certainly does), but doesn't establish it as an additional policy or guideline in itself. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 16:56, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Iain, in each situation of rule creep we can justify one more redundant guideline as no big deal, but cumulatively we are drowning in redundant and conflicting rule sets to the confusion of the everyday editors. Consider the analogy of the tragedy of the commons where what is good in the micro is disaster in the macro. --Kevin Murray 17:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
I certainly like the idea of {{Policy summary}}. Does this address the creep/redundancy concerns? SamBC(talk) 17:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
A further option would be {{Supplement}} - in this case it would point out that it's supplementary to WP:V, WP:NOR and WP:N, but without special authority of its own. Either this or {{Policy summary}} would be acceptable to me - in fact superior to either {{guideline}} or {{essay}} Iain99Balderdash and piffle 18:22, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
Seems fine to place {{Policy summary}} or {{Supplement}} instead of {{guideline}} or {{essay}}. Carlosguitar 20:00, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Sam, I'd support the idea of a policy summary if it was limited to one page and consolidated all of this type of thing together. I ahve also suggested (elsewhere) that we consolidate all content guidelines, etc. into one place. What I seek is clarity, consistency, and brevity. --Kevin Murray 22:53, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • But given that experience says that that's unlikely to happen, and definitely isn't going to happen any time soon, does {{Policy summary}} or {{Supplement}} satisfy the immediate concerns? Given that there's not going to be the sort of clarity, consistency, and brevity that you seek in the near future. SamBC(talk) 23:51, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
  • OK. I see this as a move in the right direction. I like the policy summary tag along with a better page name. Baby steps are often the best. Cheers! --Kevin Murray 00:42, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
{{Policy summary}} could potentially work (though I think some will still oppose that change), but it couldn't literally be that template, but would have to be a customized variant of it, since the wording of the template does not accurately describe what WP:NFT is/does. {{Supplement}} doesn't either, and is too weak. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:55, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
What do you feel is wrong with the current wording of that template as applied to this page? For reference, to save people clicking around, the wording is: "This page includes a summary of one or more official policies and guidelines on the English Wikipedia which are set out in detail elsewhere. Policies have wide acceptance among editors and are considered standards that all users should follow. When editing this page, please ensure that your revision is consistent with the underlying policies. When in doubt, discuss first on the talk page." It might be better to address the mismatch by altering this page than by customising the template. SamBC(talk) 14:20, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
Oh, the wording mismatch is that WP:NFT is not simply a summary of one or more policies/guidelines, but a synthesis of them that describes their interactive application to a particular class of article (which I think I've said here at least 5 times now. :-) That said, I'm not going to keel over and die if we change this page's {{Guideline}} (which should really be a {{subcat guideline|deletion guideline}} now that we have a more capable template than {{Guideline}} ) to a {{Policy summary}}. Not so with {{Essay}}. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 19:38, 28 September 2007 (UTC)
I read {{Policy summary}} as simply saying that it contains a summary of policies, not that it is solely a summary of policies, so I think that it applies reasonably well. However, if you can think of a better wording then we could also use a custom tag, like the one on WP:A. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:59, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
  • {{Policy summary}} or {{Guideline}} seem best to me. Official policy shouldn't be so conceivably hostile, but this guideline gets used waaay to much to just leave it as {{essay}}. It's a standard argument, and is essentially true - wikipedia is not for stuff that was made up one day. Guideline is preferable to me, as it has good disclaimers: Guidelines "should be treated with common sense and the occasional exception".--ZayZayEM 00:08, 28 September 2007 (UTC)

Proposed redraftEdit

I think I detect a consensus to (1) rewrite and rename the page, to make it less bitey and less focussed on school and (2) to tag it with either Template:Policy summary, or with a similarly worded custom tag, which acknowledges that it is firmly rooted in policy, without actually claiming it as a policy in itself. To get the ball rolling I've had a go at rewriting what I see as the contentious bits, and I've put a draft at Wikipedia:Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day/redraft, for discussion before sending it live. This seems like a good idea as we also have to think of a new name for it before switching to the new version - I've tentatively suggested "Wikipedia is not for things which you and your friends made up" but am not 100% happy with it - other suggestions appreciated. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:51, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

Note: I moved the redraft from talk space to a sub-page of the main article to stop SineBot adding signatures to it. Suggest we keep discussion on this page though so it's all in one place. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:17, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
How about "Wikipedia is not for things made up one day" - I think we can cope with pedants pointing out that lots of things were, ultimately, made up one day. To be fair, I'm sure there are some notable things that were made up in school one day, especially if you take the North American meaning of "school" to include university/college. SamBC(talk) 21:02, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
PS: I'm just about to look over the redraft. I would remind people that, because it's on a talk page, discussion should take place here, as the redraft doesn't have a talk page. SamBC(talk) 21:02, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Disagree in part: I see divided support for {{Guideline}} and {{Policy summary}} (or a custom variant of the latter); regardless of that distinction, the support for doing one or the other does clearly dwarf that for relegating this to {{Essay}}, so we are making some progress. Agree with the rest of what Iain99 says here (haven't read the redraft yet). Also concur with SamBC on the new name, and on ease of dealing with nitpicks about it. — SMcCandlish [talk] [cont] ‹(-¿-)› 05:07, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I think that, while there is support for {{Guideline}} as well as {{Policy summary}}, the arguments for the latter are actually more in line with existing policy and guidelines and make more sense. Mostly the arguments for the former seem to be based on a "why change" attitude, or a "don't demote it!" attitude. SamBC(talk) 10:44, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the question of guideline vs policy summary is still divided - I think the difference is that nobody has expressed a strong opposition to the latter, whereas a couple of people seem strongly opposed to the former on the grounds of redundancy. Hence my suggestion that there's a consensus for the latter (which doesn't mean that everyone is in full agreement, but that everyone agrees to abide by the outcome; WP:PRACTICAL). My own view remains that which of the two we use doesn't matter very much, so long as it's stronger than essay.
As for the name, Sambc's suggestion also works - probably better than mine on reflection, though I'd change it to Wikipedia is not for things that were made up one day, as "things made up" jars and sounds ungrammatical to me. Is this a difference between US and UK grammar? Iain99Balderdash and piffle 22:48, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's a US/UK thing - I think it's a formal/vernacular thing. I'm British, and I think you're right about the strictly correct grammar, and I known USian "grammar nazis" (a phrase I use to describe myself) who I'm pretty sure would agree. However, most people would say the nongrammatical one and not think twice, and written language is moving towards spoken language in English, quite noticably. I remember reading about it a while back, but goodness knows where… SamBC(talk) 23:51, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, I won't labour the point, as I don't like to make my own grammar-Nazi tendencies too obvious. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I like the rewrite. Get some more input from other editors and expand it a bit. My suggestions - an example of something that was "made up" and innapropriate for inclusion (for example JJJ's Mini Mammoth[1]) and something that was "made up" but has acheived notability to merit inclusion (preferable a B-class or above page, erm... Atkins Nutritional Approach...)--ZayZayEM 05:54, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Thie link might help explain Mini Mammoth Wikipedia:Articles_for_deletion/Mini_Mammoth - originated as Radio Hoax/Joke from Jay and the Doctor at Australian Youth Radio Station Triple J. It was possibly designed specifically as joke to disrupt wikipedia (a general phenomenom which probably deserves a reference in this guideline). The Mini-Mammoth has seen some general attention online, but it wasn't notable at the time. I think it's a good example, as it wasn't made up by schoolkids, isn't primarily an internet based phenomenom (it started on radio, though most that remains is online), and it also shows that wikipedia isn't a place for things other people, even semi-famous ones, made up and asked you to add to wikipedia.--ZayZayEM 01:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
I've now finally actually read the rewrite, and I like it. Non-bitey, presumption of good faith on the part of readers, it's good. Examples may be helpful, but not necessarily essential. SamBC(talk) 11:08, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
I tried to include a few examples of inappropriate subjects - drinking games, new words etc. - though I guess ZayZay means more specific ones. Er... can anybody who knows what a mini-mammoth is explain so I don't have to plough through all those MySpace pages? :-( As for an example of something which is suitable, I'm not sure that the Atkins diet is the best example as it was invented by someone who was already a cardiologist, so at an advantage over the average person when it came to getting his ideas noticed. I suppose the canonical example of something made up at school one day which became notable would be Rugby football, but that might be on the old side (and the Webb Ellis story is probably not true anyway). Erm... perhaps Scrabble? It would not have been suitable for inclusion when Alfred Mosher Butts invented it and sold a few copies to his friends - rather it became notable several years when it went into mass production and became a national bestseller. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 23:23, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Rugby and Scrabble are probably both good examples, and two examples are better than one - more might be too much. Balance this with up to two examples of things that really aren't notable, despite people often thinking they ought to be. There's probably a few internet memes suitable for this, but you don't want to use two internet memes together or it looks skewed. Part of the problem with examples of non-notables is that there is, pretty much by definition, nothing to link to to explain what on earth you're talking about. SamBC(talk) 23:54, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
Flying Spaghetti Monster is a good example of a notable internet-based meme. It should be notable before it is added to wikipedia (c.f. WP:CRYSTAL)--ZayZayEM 01:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Well, I've added a bit on Scrabble as an example of how to get an invention into Wikipedia. On consideration I'm not sure that internet memes are the best examples of unsuitable things though. They usually have at least some semblance of notability just from being plastered all over the internet, even if they don't meet WP:N or WP:RS. This page, on the other hand, is usually invoked for things which have no hint of notability whatsoever... so by definition information about specific examples of such things is going to be hard to find. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:52, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

So... anyone got any further changes or comments? If not, I'll send it live shortly Iain99Balderdash and piffle 20:19, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Done. Of course, any further improvements still welcome. Iain99Balderdash and piffle 18:09, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Not limited to the editorEdit

I think this essay should also touch on Wikiepdia not being for things anyone makes up - such as radio hosts, B-celebs, telemarketers etc.

The essay still has a sole focus on "you and your friends".--ZayZayEM 02:18, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


Are policy pages like this one required to cite sources? For example should this one cite references for its little story about the game of scrabble? Handschuh-talk to me 09:11, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I think Scrabble#History is the reference. though I don't see consistency. Maybe it needs to be rectified.--ZayZayEM 15:46, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

To reiterateEdit

It is worth mentioning that, until and unless there is a significant amount of people that claim that Wikipedia is for things made up one day (in school or otherwise), there exists no grounds for revoking this long-standing and oft-used guideline. >Radiant< 19:44, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

I think that there are better ways to handle this, but for now let's leave it alone. Cheers! --Kevin Murray 19:52, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

What's the purpose of this page?Edit


I'm wondering: Why have this page at all when the relevant issues are already covered well by WP:V and WP:NOR, which are official policy and Wikipedia fundamentals? Is it here to emphasize to newcomers who might be tempted to add their personal theory or whatever to the Wikipedia that it is not appropriate to add such a thing? If so, why not just put that in the WP:V/WP:NOR pages? Like in the introduction to WP:NOR one could add "This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your new idea that you came up with one day." or something similar so a new reader would see it and take notice. mike4ty4 (talk) 06:30, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

It was originally called "Wikipedia is not for things made up in school one day" (emph added), which makes more sense, but IMO actually did more harm than good. Removing the unnecessarily snarky comments about young people and schools now exposes the article for what it is: Preaching to the choir. --Jaysweet (talk) 18:52, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
I actually link WP:NFT quite a bit when I'm tagging articles for deletion, or participating in MfDs. Though I have no strong preference as to whether it goes to its own page, or to a subsection of a larger page, I'd like to keep the redirect around as it's useful. --Elonka 19:43, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

My writingEdit

I have had many articles deleted. That is not something I am proud of, but the editors need to explain in more detail what I did wrong. I am not making an attack on the smart wiki editors, but I just wish the y would explain in greater detail what I did wrong. They should also let you reply and explain, like I had something deleted recently, and it was copyrighted and known well, and it said something like "This is innapropriate. It is not known well or copyrighted. Don't right about made up things." Just because you don't know what it is doesn't mean other people don't know what it is. No offense th the great editors though.

(Dude (talk) 22:14, 28 April 2008 (UTC))

Dock jumpingEdit

I Maybe new here but I am trying to let the world know about "Dock Jumping" if you don't know what it is should of read the article......that you deleted......ok is about a sport with your dog similar to so if I were to get a better writer would you consider it??? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gd8man (talkcontribs) 05:46, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

  • The answer is no. Get a writer to write about it OUTSIDE of Wikipedia. UnitedStatesian (talk) 12:08, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

What if they don't have a websiteEdit

What happens if someone wants to people to know about something they made up, but don't have they own website, or webpage, then what (talk) 04:20, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

They can get their own webpage on Facebook in about 2 minutes, or there are many other ways just as fast. But please, please, they should not use Wikipedia! UnitedStatesian (talk) 12:06, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Article "importance"Edit

Should the word "important" in this section, where it says, "you have to persuade someone else that it's important first" maybe be "notable?" Importance is somewhat subjective, and WP:N specifically distinguishes it from "notability." Wrelwser43 (talk) 22:29, 13 November 2008 (UTC)

Bashing of this articleEdit

Everything was made up, one day or the other. the title must be precicised if it's not meant to be absurd. a possible title might be "Wikipedia is not meant for things which just lasted once for a day without any relevance for today" --Sophieophil (talk) 16:32, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

"Wikipedia is not a dictionary" "Wikipedia is not a crystal ball" Moar like: "Wikipedia is SRS BZNS!"-- (talk) 00:54, 14 December 2009 (UTC)


Kimps is a well known card came. My cousins in North Carolina showed it to me originally when is was young and I later learned that all my friends in Florida also new of the game. Why should it not be allowed to be a page? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Asthmeer (talkcontribs) 02:01, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

It was deleted at least once, but does seem to google well If it is as cool as some of the links say, it should soon deserve an article. Fred Talk 22:37, 24 May 2009 (UTC)
Find reliable sources – not just some dude's blog – for the game's existence and rules. See Wikipedia's notability policy in particular. Basically, something like this needs multiple, independent reliable sources. The fact that it's been deleted before doesn't mean it always will be, it simply hasn't provided the requisite level of sourcing in the past. — SMcCandlish Talk⇒ ʕ(Õلō Contribs. 11:35, 3 January 2010 (UTC)

Any ideas on how to make the thing i made up one day well-known?Edit

This particular thing-made-up-one-day is an invention, and i want to find out whether there are any flaws i've missed, and if there aren't, make some serious money from it. The idea is this:

A solar-powered airship electrolyses water vapour, and compresses it so it can be used to fuel a rocket. This way, the fuel is free, and the rocket doesn't have to be as big as if it's launched in midair. If a reusable launch vehicle is used, then the whole thing is almost free.

Do any of you know somewhere i could put the idea so i could make it well-known? Can anyone spot any flaws in it? Does anyone know people at ESA or NASA so they can tell them about it?

RowanEvans (talk) 20:45, 9 March 2009 (UTC)

The problem with your idea is that the energy you could make and store in that maanner is perhaps a billionth of that required to power a rocket ship. Fred Talk 22:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)


Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy)/Archive 64#CSD_for_WP:MADEUP I have brought up the idea of adapting the more blatant cases of MADEUP into a CSD. Please discuss over at the pump. Gigs (talk) 17:52, 10 June 2009 (UTC)

Terrific idea. This essay was just brought to my attention and I've raise same issue on the CSD talk page.[2] ScottyBerg (talk) 15:12, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

MoS naming styleEdit

There is currently an ongoing discussion about the future of this and others MoS naming style. Please consider the issues raised in the discussion and vote if you wish GnevinAWB (talk) 21:02, 25 April 2010 (UTC)


and that someone has to think it's sufficiently important to write a book, a newspaper or magazine article, or an academic paper on your idea. Such resources are considered reliable, and therefore the subject can become eligible for Wikipedia.

Magazines? National geographic's reliable, but what about those dumb gossip magazines? Kayau Voting IS evil 03:11, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

Mistake in the Text I ThinkEdit

In "Do not write about your own ideas and inventions on Wikipedia if you cannot cite reliable sources to show that they are verifiable, notable, and not original research.", I think "and not original research" should be removed. The case where your original research is published by reliable sources, hopefully including secondary sources, is the case where it actually is allowed, as long as you avoid COI related promotion as mentioned in the next paragraph in the text. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:13, 4 January 2011 (UTC)

You're right — "original research" is material that hasn't been published in a reliable source, and is thus redundant with verifiability. I've removed the mention of OR from that section. Feezo (send a signal | watch the sky) 23:04, 16 April 2011 (UTC)


Well, I think the iPhone article probably shouldn't have been deleted...--Jack Upland (talk) 23:09, 1 October 2016 (UTC)

Almost forgotten guidelineEdit

I didn't realize it's a guideline. Consensus might have agreed with it when it was created. However, does it serve any purpose, even when nearly forgotten? If so, can it be well enforced? --George Ho (talk) 06:40, 18 June 2017 (UTC)

My article is real, not made upEdit

My article has been accused of being made up, however I assure you it is all real, I have video proof of the events and statements from students. JohnathonWick1234 (talk) 23:53, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

Return to the project page "Wikipedia is not for things made up one day".