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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.

Preference of using OpenStreetMaps[edit]

Dear @User:Shannon1 before reverting my edits please discuss here. These maps are preferred because they are zoomable and rich of metadata. If you disagree please discuss. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:19, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Hooman Mallahzadeh: Hi, can you link me to the Wikipedia documentation or discussion that indicates the OSM maps are "preferred"? The watershed maps are valuable to river articles because they show key information like drainage basin extent, tributaries and topography. I wouldn't be opposed to including both in the infobox, but there appears to be no way currently to display two maps. Shannon [ Talk ] 15:22, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I should note that in French Wikipedia it is used correctly for Seine, In Japanese used for Arakawa River (Kantō). This is correct use of maps in the year 2024. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:24, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Shannon1 Policies doesn't say anything. But I can discuss and defend about their preference. Just compare these images:

Traditional map New Maps

Which of these maps is more clear? The new or the old? Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:38, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I really think that we should create a policy for the preference of OpenStreetMaps over traditional ones. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:40, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think they serve different purposes, and it would be ideal to have both in the infobox - but there appears to be no way to do this at the moment. The OSM map would be a fantastic replacement for pushpin locator maps like on Walla Walla River. However, it deletes a ton of important information that is displayed in the older watershed map. Can we hold off on any kind of mass replacement until this can be resolved? Shannon [ Talk ] 15:43, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  1. OpenStreetMaps presents the least but most important metadata at each level of zoom.
  2. The ability of zooming is only provided by OpenStreetMaps
  3. If any change occurs for the river, for example the path changes, this is rapidly applied for OpenStreetMaps
  4. language of metadata changes automatically for each Wikipedia
  5. and many others. Just let me some time to write them.
  6. font-size of text of metadata is automatically adjusted
Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:44, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You should have tried to get agreement for that policy before attempting to impose your preference across a large number of river articles. Kanguole 16:09, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Kanguole Ok, we are here for agreement about that. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 16:14, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Hooman Mallahzadeh: Please revert the map changes you have made, since they have been challenged and there is so far no agreement for them. Kanguole 21:04, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If it's an article about a river, the traditional map is more informative. 🌺 Cremastra (talk) 21:01, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Shannon1 See, we can have both maps by using "Hidden version of maps in infoboxes"

{{hidden begin|title=OpenStreetMap|ta1=center}}{{Infobox mapframe |wikidata=yes |zoom=6 |frame-height=300 | stroke-width=2 |coord={{WikidataCoord|display=i}}|point = none|stroke-color=#0000FF |id=Q1471 }}{{hidden end}}

that is rendered as:


which yields: (here we hide topological and show OpenStreetMap, but the reverse can be applied)

The Seine in Paris
Topographical map
Native namela Seine (French)
Physical characteristics
 • locationSource-Seine
MouthEnglish Channel (French: la Manche)
 • location
Le Havre/Honfleur
 • elevation
0 m (0 ft)
Length777 km (483 mi)
Basin size79,000 km2 (31,000 sq mi)
 • locationLe Havre
 • average560 m3/s (20,000 cu ft/s)
Basin features
River systemSeine basin
 • leftYonne, Loing, Eure, Risle
 • rightOurce, Aube, Marne, Oise, Epte

We can have both maps, one is hidden by default, and the other is shown by default. But I really think that we should show OpenStreetMap and hide others. But in many rare cases that the revert is true, we show topographic map and hide OpenStreetMap. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:54, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

We want an edit for Template:Infobox river and use parameters hidddenMap1 and probably hiddenMap2 for implementing this idea. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 16:07, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I opened a thread on Template talk:Infobox river regarding this. Also pinging @Remsense: who has been separately reverting my edits. Shannon [ Talk ] 16:09, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm merely concerned specifically with the articles I've reverted, I have no opinion on the issue at-large. Remsense 16:16, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Remsense: I've been on Wikipedia 15+ years and river articles have always used these watershed maps. I'm aware that policies can change but there has been no such discussion at WP:RIVERS or elsewhere. In my view, the watershed map on Yangtze for example is far more informative than the OSM map, which is essentially a better locator map. The Yangtze basin is immense, with dozens of major tributaries, and in this case the OSM map also leaves out the Jinsha that continues for more than 2000 km upstream of Sichuan. (Not because I made the watershed map, necessarily – I just noticed the reversions because of my watchlist.) Shannon [ Talk ] 16:25, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'll revert on these pages for now, thank you for the elaboration. Remsense 16:35, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If you really want consistent guidelines (after working out technical issues), put them on WikiProject Geography. A global policy would just be MOS:BLOAT. SamuelRiv (talk) 16:39, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@SamuelRiv I made a discussion for that here. Thanks, Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 16:51, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Shannon1:For my final word, I really cann't read the metadata of this map, because text on it is too small:

unless opening it. So its metadata is useless at the first glance, unlike OpenStreetMap.

  • Not sure where to put this comment, because this section is broken with huge amounts of whitespace making it almost unreadable. I just want to mention that i have reverted three or four river map changes by Hooman Mallahzadeh, the summary of the diff indicated that the rather ugly and not as useful Open Street Map was preferable; my summary is "By whom is it "preferred"? Don't think there's a policy on this; until any discussion is finished the better map shouldn't be removed." I see now that a discussion (not a vote at all) has been started here. I'd like to suggest that Hooman Mallahsadeh reverts all the changes they have made of this type until this discussion comes to some conclusion. Happy days, ~ LindsayHello 20:26, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal 1: Render both; prefer OSM; hide others[edit]

Ok, please vote for this scenario.

"Both topographic and OpenStreetMaps will be rendered in Infobox, but it is preferred to show OpenStreetMap and hide others by using "Template:Hidden begin" and "Hidden end".

For "vote", I asssume you mean "discuss"? 🌺 Cremastra (talk) 21:04, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Agree with proposal 1 re OSM[edit]

  1. Agree Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 16:23, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Agree OSM is the option that is automated, scales, is multilingual, matches a partner open data / open media project, and which has a community of editors comparable to our own who actively seek to collaborate with us as Wikipedians. We should prefer OSM by default. It is okay for anyone to argue for exceptions, but also, no one should have to argue in favor of including OSM because it is normative. Bluerasberry (talk) 14:46, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    You've posted what amounts to a non-sequitur: listing some nice things, and then skipping ahead to "we should prefer it by default" without actually having made an argument why we should that references or even acknowledges existing cite norms and policy, never mind any opposing arguments that have been made in this thread. Remsense 14:53, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Agree The OSM provides a good, legible summary for the size of the infobox, without the need to click onto it. The watershed maps look great, but only at a larger magnification. They should appear somewhere else prominent in the article at an appropriate scale. I believe that a map could be produced that does the job in the infobox better than either of these alternatives (e.g. a map like the OSM, but with the tributaries also marked). JMCHutchinson (talk) 15:36, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Disagree with proposal 1 re OSM[edit]

  1. no Disagree The OS map (in the way it is implemented here; don't know if layers in OS can be switched off for this kind of view) shows too much information that is not relevant for river articles (like roads, for example), and not enough information about what these articles are about - rivers. Plus, the watershed maps are just prettier IMO. Zoeperkoe (talk) 18:08, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  2. no Disagree Some maps are better for some things. For example in river or lake articles, the watershed maps are more helpful, but for city maps OSM is probably better. 🌺 Cremastra (talk) 21:03, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Cremastra@Zoeperkoe Why OSM is preferred? Because it is more abstract, and for solving our problems, it is preferred to move from reality into concept. Please read the article Concept. In fact, we want to solve our problems by concepts that only includes main data and lacks redundant data. So certainly OSM maps are appropriately more abstract and finer concept.
    For example, in this image:
    The abstracted version of tree is preferred for many applications (question answering) like addressing and others over Cypress tree.
    So. in river Infoboxes, I even propose to use wider lines to remove elaboration of rivers and make a simpler map for its Infobox at the first glance. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 05:22, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    As someone who also likes the OSM maps in general cases: "read the Concept article" is not a very compelling argument.
    My argument would be that they are more flexible and more immediately maintainable by editors. We can theoretically better control the level of abstraction or detail we need for a given article. I don't mind cracking open the text editor to edit an SVG, but not everyone wants to do that. I've seen enough infobox crimes to know that dogmatism either for maximum abstraction or concretion is counterproductive. Remsense 05:28, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  3. no Disagree For users with Javascript disabled (either by choice or by force), OSM maps are useless. No movement, no zoom, and nothing drawn on top of the base tiles. Also no ability to swap between tiles. Please ensure that whatever choice you make fails safely without scripts. (talk) 11:10, 31 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    When I disable JS in my browser, the maps above still render with the lines indicating the rivers' courses. They do miss the ability to click to see a larger interactive version, but they're not useless. Anomie 13:22, 31 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  4. OSM map is much less informative for the topic of rivers. CMD (talk) 06:17, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Chipmunkdavis Being less informative is an advantage. The purpose of an Infobox is providing some general information, not detailed information. In an Infobox, only the most important and most readable data should be shown. Other maps can contain details, not the Infobox map. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 06:52, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    While I think this position is preferable to the other extreme which is far more common in infobox disputes, I think it's a perspective being wielded too dogmatically here. While it's fun when I say things like "being less informative is an advantage" and there's a real sense where that's true, it also misses the point here that no one size fits all when it comes to presenting key information, and a watershed is important information one would like to know at a glance. It's being mischaracterized in my opinion as a detail, what others are arguing is that it is not so. Remsense 07:05, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Chipmunkdavis@Remsense Yes. But the most abstract data version is in the first zoom, if you want more abstract version do "zoom out" and if you need more detailed version, do "zoom in",
    But at the first glance, if is not enough informative, then for example for "watershed", we can use "point locators" on the map. Or for areas we can use area locators. They are added very fast by using new items of Template:Maplink. The same as Shinano_River. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 07:20, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I agree it's a potential solution. But we should judge the solution on a case by case basis, rather than making a swap across an entire class of articles now. Remsense 07:22, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    An in this particular case, the watershed and to an extent tributaries is important and immediately visually readable. CMD (talk) 12:29, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Disagree. I have just been reading a river article i happened to come across (River Wyre) which has made me feel so strongly that i have had to return here and protest these OSM maps, though i had planned not to. The map in that particular article, as well as other river articles i have looked at recently, is not sufficient: It gives no idea of the area drained by the river, there are unexplained dotted and faint grey lines all over it which apparently give no information, and (in this particular case) it is huge compared to the other images in the article. I am rather worried by Hooman Mallahzadeh's statement above, [b]eing less informative is an advantage, which i strongly disagree with; we should be giving our readers an abundance of information and allowing them, if they so desire, to choose what they wish to take away. Happy days, ~ LindsayHello 07:42, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    In the context of an infobox it is understandable what they mean. However, the point here is I think it's perfectly reasonable to display a river's watershed in the infobox. Remsense 07:54, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Remsense See French Wikipedia at this page . It displays both start and end with pointer and then in the continuum of Infobox, it discusses start and end of the river. I think this convention of French Wikipedia describes rivers (and also Seine river) fantastic. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 09:02, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Remsense, i agree that the infobox should contain the watershed ~ the thing is, if it doesn't, the information (presumably in the form of a map) would need to be elsewhere in the article. The infobox is indeed the logical place to look. Happy days, ~ LindsayHello 13:19, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @LindsayH Please do not be surprised about my statement! Just see the Occam's razor article, ending line of the first paragraph:

    "The simplest explanation is usually the best one."

    And this sentence:

    In philosophy, Occam's razor (also spelled Ockham's razor or Ocham's razor; Latin: novacula Occami) is the problem-solving principle that recommends searching for explanations constructed with the smallest possible set of elements.

    And this sentence:

    Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity.

    I don't know what is your major, but this principle is applied to all theories in science. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 08:07, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Hooman Mallahzadeh, i think you're possibly misunderstanding Ockham's razor: It says nothing about withholding information to make things simpler, what it means is that given a certain number of observations or facts the simplest explanation which covers them all is to be preferred. So i am still concerned (maybe even more so now) about your desire to give our readers less information. Happy days, ~ LindsayHello 13:19, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @LindsayH «Least information» but «most important information», in addition, it should be readable at the first glance, topological maps are usually unreadable at the first glance. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 13:24, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    My point is that this aphorism has exhausted its usefulness, and that this should be decided case by case, not as a class. Remsense 14:28, 7 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Occam's razor has to do with problem-solving. If we apply to everything, then we get rid of everything as being too complicated. Cremastra (talk) 01:34, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It's always puzzling to me when people bring up Occam's razor as if it lends any credence to a particular philosophical argument, where it universally translates to "the right answer is probably the one that seems right to me". Remsense 01:38, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think it's a useful metric when evaluating if an idea has a lot of edge cases or exceptions. If you can find a different idea that covers the topic without edge cases, it suggests that the "edge cases" aren't actually edge cases but rather refutations.
    That being said, I don't see how Occam's rasor applies to the question at hand. (talk) 10:13, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  6. OSM clearly doesn't include the relevant topographic information. Aaron Liu (talk) 15:57, 29 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Disagree OSM is user generated and in my experience has false information on it, I even tried to sign up to remove it but it's not obvious at all of how to remove place names. A topographical map can't be vandalised unlike OSM. Traumnovelle (talk) 09:04, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Agreed the input could be less abstruse, but that sword cuts both ways: can't be vandalized, can't be improved or fixed. Remsense 09:08, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Well it has been vandalised and it seems not possible to fix. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    No, Wikipedia is not like a printed book, and all its information is unreliable. So even "topographical map" may be vandalised. In this aspect "topographical map" is the same as OSM, but a little harder to vandalised. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 11:58, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    We can control what appears on Wikipedia and on Commons - what appears on OSM is out of our control, and what does appear in my experience has been a bunch of names that are completely bogus. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:44, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]


  1. I support the inclusion of both, but there is no need to hide one or the other. See the current documentation of Template:Infobox river. The OSM implementation would be a good replacement for the dot locator map, but it does not at all adequately replace a topographical map showing basin-level details. I am aware of the limits of image maps particularly regarding language, but 1) this is the English Wikipedia and this primarily concerns pages in English; 2) replacing existing .jpg and .png maps with SVG maps would enable maps to be easily edited for translation; and 3) if a map isn't available in a certain language, then just using the OSM version is fine. Shannon [ Talk ] 19:00, 29 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Im a huge OSM map fan, but to say that a it is preferred OVER a topographical map goes way too far. editorial discretion as always should apply, and blanket 'rules' for things like this almos always backfire. —TheDJ (talk • contribs) 10:19, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal 2: Include both (OSM and topographic maps) when appropriate[edit]

This seems like it best approaches existing consensus:

When appropriate, both a topographic map and OpenStreetMaps should be included in infoboxes.

Remsense 01:07, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

@Remsense Just see how beautiful Japanese Wikipedia introduced the river Shinano_River by this code:


This includes all sub-rivers. I think this type of maps should be a good sample for all other Wikipedia to introduce rivers. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 13:18, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I personally quite like this, yes. I'm sure if there's some argument against this, we will be hearing it—I like when other editors hone my aesthetic senses. Remsense 13:21, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It looks very useful. I also stumbled across the Syr Darya page which manages to use both types of map in the infobox using the |extra= field. I would say that's a good, clean way to approach it going forward. Again, I think both types of maps are useful in different ways, and I see no reason to take an absolutist stance and say one or the other should be favored in all cases.
To add, I was kind of rubbed the wrong way at the start of this debate by OP's attitude that new and high tech is always better regardless of the context or usage (not to mention inventing an imaginary consensus which totally threw me for a loop), and as others have commented, this isn't how policy decisions on Wikipedia are made. Finally, as someone passionate about river topics, the auto generated maps just don't tell the full "story". It's nuance and individual approach versus cold standardization. Yes, there are a lot of poorly drawn and inaccurate user-made maps out there (including many of my older maps) which could do well with being replaced, but then there are beautiful ones like Rhine, which provide a value much harder to replace.Shannon [ Talk ] 16:53, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Shannon1 Even in the article of Rhine and in the selected map of Infobox, the font is too small and we can't read anything. So aside from choosing OSM or not, between existing maps, the second map i.e., File:Rhein-Karte2.png is more appropriate for Infobox map of this article. I think we should make a policy for selecting between maps, the one that is more abstract, i.e. we apply this policy:

The simplest and most abstract map is the preferred one for Infobox of articles

Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 17:56, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I have already made my point, so I'll excuse myself from further argument on this thread. As I've stated, I support applying both maps where possible as I believe that provides the best value for the reader. I don't particularly mind if the OSM or topographic map is placed first or second in the infobox. However, I cannot agree with the assessment that "the simplest and most abstract map is preferred" in the context of rivers, which are complex systems that are much more than a simple blue line. Unless a broader consensus can be reached, I maintain to oppose any removal of useful content that have been considered standard on river articles for years. Shannon [ Talk ] 19:56, 30 March 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This seems to be the best of both worlds, clear, readable map, with some information about the watershed. - Enos733 (talk) 19:00, 29 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Proposal 3: Selection of varous types of "topographical maps" as background for OSM[edit]

I think this "alignment scenario" would be perfect:

OSM maps of rivers remains unchanged, but OSM white background could be changed to various topographical backgrounds by users.

Implementing this idea has challenges about setting correct size and challenges of alignment of two maps, but its implementation is not hard. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 10:39, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I'm sure it can work fine, but I still am not quite understanding why we would need to codify it as policy. Everyone has pretty much re-reiterated their preference for "just figure out what works on a per article basis", and you haven't really articulated why there's anything wrong with that. Remsense 10:41, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Remsense We should apply a policy is for "the selection of a map between various maps" for Infoboxes, which is for "First Glance Data". Wrong selection could give no data at the first glance. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 10:45, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure I understand. Editors are currently free to decide what is best for each article, as per usual. Unfortunately, I don't think the type of arguments you've made are going to convince other editors that we should restrict editors' flexibility like that. If you want to improve the site, I think working on individual articles and discussing how to improve their maps for each would be more helpful to the site, because I still don't see a need to change sitewide policy. Remsense 10:51, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You said

Editors are currently free to decide what is best for each article, as per usual.

Editors should select what type of map for infobox? In the most cases (over 90%), the «simplest map» is the best for infobox. Do you agree? But in very special cases other maps should be used for Infoboxes. Isn't it better to be a «policy»? Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 11:00, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think so, no. Let editors make their own choices per article. You are working in generally correct principles, but this would be applying them too dogmatically, as mentioned above. Remsense 11:02, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Remsense But I really think that the selection of File:Bassin Seine.png for Seine river happened in English Wikipedia is wrong. Selection of French Wikipedia for this river is more appropriate, because it provides more data at the first glance. If we apply a «selection policy», such bad selections would not happen anymore. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 11:18, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
...then discuss the merits for that particular map on that particular talk page, like I've suggested several times! That's how Wikipedia generally works. I don't know how else to illustrate that your suggestion seems overly restrictive, and the flexibility seems more worthwhile here, but please try to understand what I'm saying with that, I guess? Remsense 12:42, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Closing time[edit]

We've had a good time chatting about maps, but it's pretty clear we're not coming to any sort of consensus to change site policy or guidelines. Does anyone object to me sewing this one up? Remsense 12:02, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

As a finial word, I propose to provide a "Infobox map selection policy" that selecets a map between OSM and topological maps that satisfies these properties:
  1. Readable for texts
  2. Less detail with most important data
and some other aspects. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 12:08, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If (as you admit) there is no clear consensus, then you can't "sew it up" to your personal preferences. In particular "I propose to provide" sounds just like you have a fixed idea that you are trying to impose. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 14:51, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
For clarity, was any of that intended for me? Remsense 15:00, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
For clarity, I'd read both yours and Hooman Mallahzadeh's contributions together, for that mix-up I apologise. However it does apply to both unless your sewing up is a finding of no consensus. Martin of Sheffield (talk) 15:19, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
More like a consensus to not to change anything, but the effect is the same. Remsense 15:21, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, we should avoid choosing File:Bassin Seine.png for Seine river Infobox as happened in English Wikipedia. We can do that by a general policy. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Consensus contradicts you. Cremastra (talk) 15:26, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Cremastra Do you think that selection of File:Bassin Seine.png for Seine Infobox is correct? Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:27, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I do, but that's beside the point. The point is that consensus is against your proposal and you need to accept that. Cremastra (talk) 15:28, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I accept or not, this selection may harm Wikipedia. My opinion is not important at all. What is important is that

Are we providing information for readers in the best scientific way?

If the answer is no, and some better way exists, then we are in a wrong way. My opinion is not important at all. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:34, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
And your opinion is that some better way exists, other have disagreed with that opinion. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 17:14, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I completely described advantages of OSM over topological maps above. I really think that we define "better" with advantages and disadvantages. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 17:29, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hooman Mallahzadeh, it's not mine intention to be rude, but i am going to be blunt: Do you understand the concept of consensus, the idea that through discussion it is usually possible to discern the community's will? Because throughout this discussion you appear to be ignoring it or pretending that consensus doesn't exist ~ your statement that we should avoid choosing File:Bassin Seine.png for [the] Seine river...[w]e can do that by a general policy ignores both the previous consensus and that developed in this discussion. Please don't take offense at my bluntness, but do take a moment to think that perhaps the will of the community is not with you on this one. Happy days, ~ LindsayHello 17:42, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes you described what you believe the advantages are, and you may consider them to be fact but you failed to convince other editors of that. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 20:17, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You cannot assert that consensus should exist from the strength of argument alone, that's why we use consensus as a decision-making mechanism. Sometimes people do not value the same things you do or have the same priorities. It is healthy at least to acknowledge that everyone else that has considered them has found your arguments unconvincing. I would move on. Remsense 06:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
OSM has the ability of zooming in and out. But for "topological maps" we cann't zoom out but do zooming in with lowering quality. This is one of the worst drawbacks of topological maps. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:21, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Problem of vandalism[edit]

@Traumnovelle: Vandalism is problem of all texts inside Wikipedia and outside it in cyberspace and Internet. Unless we have some printed or signed version of data, vandalism happens in cyberspace. I really think that vandalism for OSM can be tolerated, as for other data of cyberspace.Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:50, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

I've figured out how to remove vandalism from OSM, I still don't like the idea of relying on a third party with different policies and rules, there seems to be no active editors/watchers for this. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:55, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think advoiding vandalism in OSM and Wikipedia be the same, but I'm not sure. I should do some research about vandalism in OSM. Hooman Mallahzadeh (talk) 15:59, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If someone adds a false piece of information in an article and I come across it I can click edit, search for the text with ctrl + f and remove it. If someone does the same with openstreetmaps I have to click dozens of tiny boxes and hope I've found the one that has been vandalised. It's like finding a needle in a haystack. Traumnovelle (talk) 16:04, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Well even now it's still tedious given you have to select dozens of areas and hope you've found the one the vandal has added a name to. I've given up on removing it and I still am opposed given how easy it is to vandalise and how tedious it is to deal with. Traumnovelle (talk) 16:02, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Hooman Mallahzadeh, do you have a conflict of interest with Open Street Maps? Cremastra (talk) 17:46, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

How to describe past events on the main page[edit]

Currently, the status quo for events listed on the main page is to use the present tense, even if the event in question has definitively ended. I didn't really notice this was an issue until yesterday when I noticed that the main page said that the Solar eclipse of April 8, 2024 is visible through parts of North America. Knowing that it was not currently visible and double checking that the article referred to the event in the past tense, I changed this to was visible. [1] I did not realize that this is against the current consensus at WP:ITNBLURB which says that these events must always be described in the present tense. If one is interested in further background, I encourage them to read this discussion here (scroll down to errors).

I think that this status quo is misleading to readers because it cases like this, we are deliberately giving inaccurate and outdated information. I believe this is a disservice to our readers. The eclipse is not visible anymore, yet we must insist that it is indeed visible. I think that we should also be consistent... If the article for a blurb is using the past tense, we should use the past tense on the main page. Therefore, I propose that events listed on ITN that have definitively ended should be described in the past tense if it would otherwise mislead readers into thinking an event is ongoing. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 11:33, 10 April 2024 (UTC), edited 17:00, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Note: Notification of this discussion was left at Wikipedia talk:In the news.—Bagumba (talk) 12:00, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I propose that events listed on ITN that have definitively ended should be described in the past tense: But any blurb can be written in the past tense, e.g., a country was invaded, an election was won, a state of emergency was declared, etc. So if we did go to past tense, I don't understand why there is a distinction with needing to have "definitively ended".—Bagumba (talk) 12:07, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I made the distinction because I felt our current approach was the most jarring in situations where we're literally misleading the reader. I don't really have any strong preferences either way on other situations and felt like it'd be for the best to make sure my RfC was clear and not vague. I'm not trying to change every blurb at ITN right now, hence the "definitive end date" emphasis. If someone wants more broader changes to verb tense at the main page, I'd say that warrants its own separate discussion. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 12:16, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Note The blurb currently reads A total solar eclipse appears across parts of North America[2]Bagumba (talk) 12:33, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I was about to suggest a rewording along these lines… so that the blurb is accurate while maintaining present tense. Blueboar (talk) 12:45, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's better than flat out saying visible, but this phrasing still implies that it is visible? Present tense when an event has ended implies that an event is still ongoing. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 16:22, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Appear means to start to be seen or to be present.[3] It doesn't say that it continues to be seen. Perhaps the previous blurb's problem was that it resorted to using is, incorrectly implying a continuing state, not that a present-tense alternative was not possble(??)—Bagumba (talk) 06:34, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
To be present is to continue to be seen (by those looking, at least). I think you're misreading that as to start to be seen or present. That second to be matters here (and so it appears bold). InedibleHulk (talk) 22:30, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Support per nom, see no reason to oppose. Aaron Liu (talk) 13:19, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Per below, there isn'ta clear way forward for this one. On one hand, "Liechtenstein wins the FIFA World Cup" should definitely remain that way, but this also causes situations like these. Maybe something like unless this wording directly encourages a misleading interpretation that the event is still ongoing., using an earthquake in present tense and this event in past tense as examples. Or maybe we should just IAR such cases. Aaron Liu (talk) 16:30, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think IAR is going to work as long as we don't have an explicit exemption because it'd be causing someone to explicitly go against consensus for their own ends. I switched the wording to "was visible" out of ignorance in regards to current standards, not because I was deliberately ignoring them. I think there might have been much more ado made about my actions if I had done this with a justification of IAR. I don't have issues with your proposed wording, because again, my biggest issue with all of this is intentionally misleading readers. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 16:39, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Aaron Liu: I've changed the proposal to have "if it would otherwise mislead readers into thinking an event is ongoing". Does that address your concerns? Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 17:03, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Support, though I find isaacl's alternative of including a time frame intriguing. Aaron Liu (talk) 17:11, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Comment for a lot of blurbs, the present tense is fine, as it continues to be true. e.g. elections, "X is elected leader of Y" is correct and better than past tense, and same with sports matches that end up on ITN. A blanket change to past tense is disingenuous therefore, although swapping to past tense for events that happened (and aren't ongoing) seems somewhat reasonable. Joseph2302 (talk) 13:55, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Isn't "Is elected" past tense? Though I agree that for situations where we can use the active voice, "Z legislature elects X as leader of Y" sounds better. Aaron Liu (talk) 14:05, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
"Is elected" is present tense, specifically present perfect. "Elects" is also present tense, simple present. Levivich (talk) 18:14, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I thought "is elected" is passive voice. Voters are doing the electing, the elected person is passive in this situation. In passive voice "elected" is a past participle (also sometimes called the passive or perfect participle). (Side note: present perfect in English usually takes "have/has" as an auxiliary verb) —⁠andrybak (talk) 23:00, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think for time-bound events such as the eclipse, including a time frame would be the best approach to avoid confusion. Additionally, I think using past tense is fine. isaacl (talk) 17:09, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I am in favor of past tense for everything. "Won the election," or "landslide killed 200" or "eclipse appeared" all read as fine to me. Newspapers using present tense makes sense because they publish every day (or more often). It doesn't make sense for ITN where items stay posted for days or weeks. Levivich (talk) 18:10, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Something about ITN mostly using present tense just feels... righter. Regardless of staying posted for weeks, they are all quite recent compared to most other stuff we have on the main page. Also see historical present. Aaron Liu (talk) 20:30, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'll have what you're having. InedibleHulk (talk) 22:30, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Decide case-by-case: we can safely IAR in most cases. Cremastra (talk) 19:43, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • No special rules for the main page: use the same tense we would in articles. We are an encyclopedia not a newspaper. (t · c) buidhe 20:37, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Object The present tense serves us well. It is the standard tense for headlines, certainly within the UK and I believe US too (though some MoS in the US is very different to the UK). I can't see anything in the proposal beyond change for the sake of change. doktorb wordsdeeds 22:00, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Again, it is confusing to say that the solar eclipse is in the sky. Aaron Liu (talk) 22:05, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It would be confusing to switch from "is....was....did....has" in a single box on a typical ITN week. doktorb wordsdeeds 22:28, 10 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    A typical ITN week does not have many blurbs that really need the past tense like the solar eclipse. Aaron Liu (talk) 02:37, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • We should use the correct tense. Someone does not "wins" an election or sports match, they won it. The eclipse, after it ended, was visible over North America, but "is" visible is factually inaccurate at that point (and before it starts to happen, we should say it will be visible). A political leader does not "makes" a statement, they made it. On the other hand, it may be accurate to say that a conflict is going on, or rescue efforts after a disaster are underway. So, we should use the natural, normal tense that accurately reflects the actual reality, as it would be used in the article. Seraphimblade Talk to me 06:02, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Object I don't think I agree with the premise that ITN blurbs are phrased in the present in the first place. It's in the historical present tense. "A 7.4-magnitude earthquake strikes near Hualien City, Taiwan" doesn't give the impression that the ground is still shaking. Nor does "A solar eclipse appears across parts of North America" read as "a solar eclipse is happening right now." Likewise, "Nobel Prize–winning theoretical physicist Peter Higgs (pictured) dies at the age of 94." doesn't need to be changed to "died at the age of 94", we know it's in the past, we're not under any illusions that he's still in the process of dying. It's phrased in such a way that doesn't really imply either past or present and just kind of makes sense either way. If an event is still happening, the blurb makes sense. And if the event is over, the blurb still makes sense. I think that's intentional.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 07:33, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Actually, I think that "A 7.4-magnitude earthquake strikes near Hualien City, Taiwan" does give the impression that the ground is still shaking, or at least that it was shaking very recently. Even newspaper headlines avoid that, especially after the first day. "Hualien struck by massive earthquake" is a perfectly normal headline style. In fact, I find these actual headlines in the past tense:
    • Taiwan Struck by Deadly 7.4-Magnitude Earthquake
    • Taiwan shaken but unbowed as biggest quake in 25 years spotlights preparedness
    • Taiwan hit by powerful earthquake
    • Taiwan hit by its strongest quake in quarter-century, but death toll is low
    • Earthquake in Taiwan blamed for at least 9 deaths as buildings and roads seriously damaged
    • Taiwan hit by strongest earthquake in 25 years, killing 9
    WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:00, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Agree that this is a normal headline style that we would do fine to adopt. But to my ear, the past participles in those examples sound more like examples of passive voice with zero copula, rather than past tense. -- Visviva (talk) 01:34, 21 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keep present tense as general recommendation per above. Discuss individual cases when this is too jarring. —Kusma (talk) 07:43, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • As an encyclopedia rather than a news agency, I would think past tense fits our vibe more. Archives of our frontpage would remain clearly accurate indefinitely. We are not reporting news, we are featuring a newly updated/written encyclopedic article on currently relevant events. ~Maplestrip/Mable (chat) 08:22, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keep present tense. There is a difference between "X is happening" (which necessarily means right now, at this moment) and "X happens" (which os somewhat more vague). We should always use the second form, regardless of precise moment. As stated above, we even have statements like "an earthquake hits..." or "So and so dies", both of which are clearly over by the tine it gets posted. Animal lover |666| 19:12, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Object from a wp:creep standpoint To my knowledge there is no rule regarding this and it's just a practice. This would change it to having a rule. North8000 (talk) 19:25, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    How? The present tense rule was always written down there and this proposal does not make ITN a guideline. Aaron Liu (talk) 19:42, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • No, it should not – it's unencyclopaedic and ungrammatical. The Simple Present is used to describe habitual or continuous actions or states (the Sun sets in the West; he is a boot-and-shoe repairman; I'm Burlington Bertie, I rise at ten-thirty; Timothy Leary's dead etc). Events in the past are described using the Present Past when when no time is specified (the lunch-box has landed; London has fallen; mine eyes have seen the glory ...). When a time in the past is specified, the Simple Past is invariably used: in fourteen hundred and ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue, in fourteen hundred and ninety-three, he sailed right back over the sea; today, I learned; well I woke up this morning and I looked round for my shoes. This is not rocket science. Ours is not a news outlet with a profit target to meet, we have no reason to have 'headlines', which are simply bits of news given some kind of extra urgency by being in the wrong tense. "Wayne Shorter dies!" immediately begs the question "really? how often?" So "A total eclipse of the Sun has occurred; it was visible in [somewhere I wasn't] from [time] to [time]". It gives the information, it's written in English, where's the problem? (NB there are two distinct present tenses in English, the Simple Present and the Present Continuous; the latter is used for things that are actually happening in this moment or about to happen in the future (I'm going down to Louisiana to get me a mojo hand; I’m walking down the highway, with my suitcase ...). Justlettersandnumbers (talk) 20:22, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Justlettersandnumbers: Reading your comment makes it sound like it supports of my proposal instead of opposing it? I don't understand the "no, it should not" unless there's something I'm not getting. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 21:10, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Clovermoss The title of your section begins with "Should the main page continue to use the present tense". Aaron Liu (talk) 22:49, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And then the actual RfC itself is my proposal to change that for situations where this would be misleading readers. I'm not sure it's necessarily the best idea to be messing around with section names at this point but I'm open to suggestions that would help make this less confusing for people. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 22:53, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Eh, never mind. I decided to be bold and make it consistent with how CENT describes this discussion. Hopefully that helps things. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 23:15, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Given that WP:ITNBLURB currently has the guideline that "blurbs should describe events in complete sentences in the present tense," it does not seem like instruction creep to modify an existing rule. isaacl recommends including a time-frame, but I find this impractical for events that occur over multiple time zones. While this eclipse's article reports the event's span over the overall planet in UTC, this level of detail is too cumbersome for a main page blurb. Clovermoss' proposal limits itself to cases where the present tense would be confusing, which is preferable to an individual discussion for each perceived exception to the current guideline. BluePenguin18 🐧 ( 💬 ) 20:50, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Yes, the practice should continue - this is a perfectly normal idiomatic feature of English. Headlines are written in the present tense, just like 'in which...' in the chapter sub-headings of old novels, the summaries of TV episodes in magazines and on streaming services, and lots of other places where a reported past action is summarised. GenevieveDEon (talk) 21:33, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • How about, "is seen over North America" -- passive with present tense and past participle, anyone? :) Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:49, 11 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That's a better solution than ending the practice of using the historical present tense. Though I think that suggestion is more likely to be implemented at WP:ERRORS than through a Village Pump policy proposal. (I'm also not entirely sure why this whole discussion isn't just at the ITN talk page since it doesn't affect any other part of the main page, but it's no big deal)  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 20:10, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    ERRORS is not the appropriate venue, given that the discussion that was there was removed. As for why it's here specifically, I figured anything regarding the main page was important, that a discussion here would invite more participants, and avoid the possibile issue of a local consensus. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 20:16, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I originally thought this suggestion was sarcastic, given the smiley face. If it is serious, I dislike it because "is seen" is extremely passive voice. Assuming there is a problem (which I don't think there is), the solution is not passive voice. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 20:22, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't think passive voices are that bad; while I agree that the active voice is usually preferred, do you really think that "North Americans see a total solar eclipse" is better? Aaron Liu (talk) 21:32, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    No. I think that the current iteration "A total solar eclipse appears across parts of North America" is perfect. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 21:37, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I was illustrating why the passive voice doesn't deserve to be demonized. Aaron Liu (talk) 21:42, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    In fairness, that discussion was removed specifically because ITN uses present tense and the discussion was proposing to change that, and ERRORS isn't the place for proposals to change how we do things. Alanscottwalker's suggestion also uses the present tense, so ERRORS would be a fine venue if they really wanted to see that change made. After all, that discussion at ERRORS is what resulted in the language being changed from "is visible" to "appears". I personally think appears is totally fine (I agree with CaptainEek that there is no problem), but if someone prefers "is seen", that's the place to do it.  Vanilla  Wizard 💙 20:33, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That discussion only happened because I changed "is visible" to "was visible", prompting an errors report. I'd prefer "appeared" over "appears" since that implies that it is still indeed visible per the above discussion. It's better than "is visible", though. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 01:07, 13 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keep present tense as ITN is supposed to summarize and collect news headlines and the present tense is standard in headlines. Pinguinn 🐧 00:05, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keep using historical present I think a lot of supporters here are confusing the historical present (often used in news headlines) for the simple present. I would agree that the eclipse would have made sense to be an exception to that general rule, as was the focus in the original proposal here, but I wouldn't change the general rule. Anomie 12:04, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Currently, in this proposal, I see a codified exception for when using the present tense would be confusing that would only apply in cases like the solar eclipse. Aaron Liu (talk) 12:43, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    @Anomie, the lead of our article on the historical present says the effect of the historical present is "to heighten the dramatic force of the narrative by describing events as if they were still unfolding". I'm not convinced that making things sound more dramatic should be a goal for an encyclopedia, and I would not have guessed that you would support such a goal. Do you? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:09, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Keep historical present tense Headlines are most compelling and appropriate in the historical present tense. The NYTimes provides that "Headlines are written in the historical present tense. That means they written are in present tense but describe events that just happened."
    Out of curiosity, I perused the AP Stylebook (56th edition, 2022-2024), which surprisingly had almost nothing to say on tenses, though its section on headlines is generally instructive.

    "Headlines are key to any story. A vivid, accurate and fair headline can entice people to dig in for more. A bland, vague or otherwise faulty headline can push readers away. Often, a headline and photo are all that many readers see of a story. Their entire knowledge of the piece may based on those elements. Headlines must stand on their own in conveying the story fairly, and they must include key context. They should tempt readers to want to read more, without misleading or overpromising."

    How to best have a vivid headline? Present tense and active voice! One of Wikipedia's most frequent writing errors is using past tense and passive voice out of a misplaced assumption that it is more encyclopedic. But past and passive are weak. Present and active are better, and are what I have been taught in a wide multitude of writing courses and professional spaces. To add to the NYTimes, AP, and personal experience, I consulted my copy of Bryan Garner's Redbook (4th ed.), which while meant as a legal style guide, is useful in other areas. Regarding tense, in heading 11.32, it provides that "generally use the present tense." I then turned to the internet, which backed up the use of present tense in headlines: Grammar expert suggests present tense "Engaging headlines should be in sentence case and present tense." Kansas University on headlines: "Present tense, please: Use present tense for immediate past information, past tense for past perfect, and future tense for coming events."
    Using the historical present is best practice for headlines. That's not to say that there can't be exceptions, but they should be rare. As for the eclipse, it properly remains in the historical present. As a further consideration: if we are updating ITN tenses in real time, we are adding considerable work for ourselves, and we push ourselves truly into WP:NOTNEWS territory. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 18:35, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't think we're adding considerable work for ourselves. It takes a second or two in the rare situations that require it, anything else regarding the main page has much more work involved. We already update the articles in question, just not the blurb, which is a bit of a jarring inconsistency in itself. I don't understand the argument that the tense we should be using should be comparable to newspaper headlines because we're NOTNEWS? Could you elaborate a bit on your thinking there? Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 19:43, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    For the last part: they're mistaken that this proposal would require tenses to be updated to the past tense when any event ends, which is way too much effort to stay current which kinda does fall into NOTNEWS. (Note that this proposal would only require past tense if the historical present causes confusion) Aaron Liu (talk) 19:50, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    We are NOTNEWS. But as my comment above alludes to, ITN is a de facto news stream. Each entry in ITN is effectively a headline. Why try to reinvent the headline wheel? I'm afraid I have to disagree with Aaron's clarification, because Clover did change the tense after the event ended. It would have been incorrect to say "was" when the blurb first posted...because the eclipse was presently happening at that time. I'll add further that "otherwise mislead readers into thinking an event is ongoing" is an unhelpful standard. I don't buy that the average reader is going to be confused by a historical present headline. We read headlines all the time, and the average reader understands the historical present, even if they couldn't define it. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 20:18, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I have to disagree with you there. I think that when the main page stated that the eclipse "is visible", that was confusing to the average reader. It confused me, prompting me to check that the eclipse wasn't somehow ongoing. We were giving inaccurate information intentionally and I honestly don't see why we do this for the main page. Because it's interesting? Because newspapers do it before an event happens? Once the eclipse ended, newspapers referred to the event in the past tense as well. My decision to change it to "was visible" took one second (so not a considerable time investment, although everything that ensued certainly has been). Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 20:32, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Ah, that's my bad, the "is visible" language is also problematic for its passivity. I like the "appears" solution, and thought that was the original wording. But I think it would be improper to say "appeared." I'm not so sure I buy that newspapers were uniformly using past tense; again, the best practice for newspapers is to use the historical present. The time issue is ancillary to the best practice issue, I agree that the real time sink is the discussions that will surely result from implementing this rule. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 20:42, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I could show some examples if you'd like, since you don't seem to buy that newspapers were using the past tense after the eclipse appeared.
    • "A total eclipse of a lifetime appeared for hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents in the Hamilton-Niagara region" – Canadian Broadcasting Corporation [4]
    • "In middle America, the eclipse was a phenomenon" – Washington Post [5]
    • "During the event on April 8, 2024, one of these arcs was easily visible from where I stood, agape beneath our eclipsed, blackened star, in Burlington, VT." – Mashable [6]
    • "The great American eclipse appeared Monday, bringing the nation to a standstill as photographers captured stunning shots of the rare celestial event." – CNET [7]
    • "The total solar eclipse that swept across Mexico, the United States and Canada has completed its journey over continental North America." – CNN [8]
    I think that "appears" is better than saying "is visible" like the previous phrasing was before my intermediate change of "was visible" but it still runs into the issue of implying the eclipse is appearing somewhere. I agree with what InedibleHulk said above To be present is to continue to be seen (by those looking, at least). I think you're misreading that as to start to be seen or present. That second to be matters here (and so it appears bold). Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 21:14, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The operative issue is that these are headlines from after the event. But the blurb got posted during the event. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 21:19, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And the blurb stays days or weeks on the main page, where using the past tense would be more accurate than using present tense the entire time. I also think that having a clear exemption clause would prevent time sink discussions like this one, not cause them. It'd prevent us from needing to have a discussion every time something like this happens. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 21:25, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think that this discussion would prevent some time sink over reluctance to IAR. And again, only a small number of events would need their tense changed. Aaron Liu (talk) 21:34, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Drop present tense and use the tense we'd use anywhere else on Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a newspaper, even on the Main Page, and there's no reason we should obscure the timing of events for stylistic reasons. Loki (talk) 21:18, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The tense we'd use anywhere else is, by default, present? WP:TENSE provides that By default, write articles in the present tense. CaptainEek Edits Ho Cap'n!⚓ 21:22, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    MOS:TENSE says By default, write articles in the present tense, including those covering works of fiction (see Wikipedia:Writing better articles § Tense in fiction) and products or works that have been discontinued. Generally, use past tense only for past events, and for subjects that are dead or no longer meaningfully exist. We use past tense for past events like we do at the actual article linked in the ITN blurb: Solar eclipse of April 8, 2024. It's just the main page where we make the stylistic choice to not do that. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 21:31, 12 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The present tense makes the main page read like a news ticker, which we are often at pains to explain it is not (e.g. WP:NOTNP). I would favour the past tense for all events that are not ongoing. If we cannot agree on that, I support the proposal to use the past if there might be a misunderstanding (partly in the hope that familiarity will lead to the past tense being used more and more in the future!). JMCHutchinson (talk) 11:06, 13 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Per WP:NEWSSTYLE, "As a matter of policy, Wikipedia is not written in news style ..." . ITN is especially embarrassing because its blurbs are often weeks old and so its use of the present tense is then quite misleading. It might help if the blurbs were dated to show how old they are. See OTD and the Spanish edition for examples. Andrew🐉(talk) 07:38, 18 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support the thing Clovermoss said we should do (to head off any confusion about whether "support" or "oppose" means to support or oppose making or not making a change, etc). jp×g🗯️ 06:30, 19 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose any firm rule. The same style is used in the not-so-current-events sections of year pages, or at least those I've checked so far:
    • From 520: The monastery of Seridus, where Barsanuphius and John the Prophet lived as hermits, is founded in the region of Gaza
    • From 1020: King Gagik I of Armenia is succeeded by Hovhannes-Smbat III.
    • From 1920: A woman named Anna Anderson tries to commit suicide in Berlin and is taken to a mental hospital where she claims she is Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia.
    • From 2020: A total solar eclipse is visible from parts of the South Pacific Ocean, southern South America, and the South Atlantic Ocean.
  • Now maybe I'm being a bit OTHERSTUFFy here and it's year pages that should be fixed, but until that's done, it would seem really weird to describe 1000-year-old events with "is", but events from last week with "was". Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 21:48, 19 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    None of these except the 2020 one can be mistaken as things that are currently happening. Aaron Liu (talk) 22:20, 19 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I think we should use the past tense for some events (e.g., any event that is definitively "finished") and present tense for those that are ongoing. I didn't see a single clear argument above for using the present tense for things that are completely finished [correction: except for CaptainEek, who wants to use historical past for the "vivid" dramatic effect]. There are comments about what label a grammarian would apply to it, and comments saying that this is the way we've always done it, but no comments giving a reason for why it's better for readers if we say that a ten-second earthquake from last week "is" happening instead of that it "did" happen. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:50, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Because the historical present is a convention in English, period. There's also consistency with lists of past events, which also blocks useful things like moving navboxes to the See also. Aaron Liu (talk) 00:53, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The historical present is a convention in English. It is not the only convention, which means we could choose a different one. Why should we choose this convention? WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:01, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    For consistency and compactness. Aaron Liu (talk) 02:51, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The amount of compactness is usually one character – the difference between is and was, or elects and elected. In other cases, it's the same or shorter: shook instead of shakes for earthquakes, died instead of dies for deaths. I don't think that sometimes saving a single character is worth the risk of someone misunderstanding the text, especially since we get so many readers who do not speak English natively.
    As for consistency, I think that being easily understood is more important than having parallel grammar constructions across unrelated items. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:28, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The historical present is not the convention anywhere on Wikipedia's main page. Just see today:
    ITN is the only possible exception and it's not using the historical present because it's not referring to history.
    Andrew🐉(talk) 12:37, 20 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't think anything needs to be changed here style-wise, we just need to write better ITN blurbs. "Solar eclipse is visible" isn't the historical present and it isn't sensible either. -- asilvering (talk) 06:21, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not sure why this discussion isn't happening at WT:ITN, but stick with simple present as we have done for years. Stephen 09:49, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    A notification has been at Wikipedia talk:In the news#Blurb tense for a while now. Putting this here attracts more attention.
    Most blurbs will not need to be changed to the past tense. Only things like "is visible" need to be changed. Aaron Liu (talk) 12:54, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • The historical present should be taken behind the barn, shot, burned, and the ashes scattered to the four winds. --User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 14:02, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Violently expressed dislike is not the same as a reasoned argument. The historic present is used widely in headlines, timelines, and other applications both on this site and elsewhere which are comparable to the ITN headlines. GenevieveDEon (talk) 14:16, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Using present tense for completed events is ridiculous (which is even worse than wrong), no matter how much it may be used elsewhere. --~ User:Khajidha (talk) (contributions) 15:43, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
But Wikipedia cares about consistency, present tense saves characters, and most events will not be confused as ongoing. Aaron Liu (talk) 15:48, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As I showed above, the present tense only occasionally saves characters, and the number of characters saved is most often one (1).
In my experience, the English Wikipedia cares more about clarity accuracy than about consistency. There are ~650 pages citing Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines." (And now there is one more.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:30, 22 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As you've said, I can't really articulate my thoughts on why we should use the historical present. I guess that's because not all grammar rules and conventions make sense either, yet they're usually prescribed. The most sense I could make is sort of "vividness": they emphasize that these events happen in the present day, as opposed to most of our content on the main page.
I also wish that Wikipedia didn't care so much about consistency, but it seems that we do, which has led to navboxes not being moved to the see also section and nearly all of them turned into the standard purple. Maybe that made me think to consistify the consistency. Aaron Liu (talk) 00:01, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The rest of the main page uses past tense to refer to events that have occurred. The articles use the past tense to refer to past events. In the News isn't an up-to-the-moment news ticker; it points out articles that are related to current events. isaacl (talk) 00:14, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Past, yes, but as you said they’re related to current events. These events are much more current than the rest of the main page and historical present emphasizes that.
Hopefully we have a rough consensus to at least put “otherwise confusing blurbs can you use the past tense” into the rules. Aaron Liu (talk) 00:17, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The point is for the main page, using the same tense as the rest of the page, as well as the underlying articles, would be consistent. isaacl (talk) 01:26, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The main page is just a reflection of the rest of the site. We don't need to force everything on the main page to be the same, and the underlying lists of stuff linked above also use historical present. Aaron Liu (talk) 11:14, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The main page is just a reflection of the rest of the site. My understanding is that ITN blurbs are literally the only place we enforce this stylistic choice. It's inconsistent with the actual articles linked in the blurb. [9] I can't help but think that if this situation was the other way around (the status quo was to be consistent) that people would find the arguments for this unconvincing. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 11:19, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Most of the site doesn't use blurbs, but all the year articles do. See Suffusion of Yellow's comment above. Aaron Liu (talk) 12:27, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I suppose then my question is if there's a consensus for year pages that things must be done that way then because it's not otherwise a stylistic choice you see outside of ITN blurbs. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 15:02, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You brought up consistency as an argument. I feel a reader will notice inconsistency amongst sections of the main page more readily than between the In the News section and the year articles. There's no navigation path between the latter two, but readers can easily jump between sections of the main page. isaacl (talk) 16:26, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Retain historical present. ITN blurbs are intentionally written in the style of news headlines, and that makes most sense given global usage on this point. It would be silly for Wikipedia to have a set of news items written differently from how every other outlet writes its news items. Cases like the eclipse can be handled on an individual basis, by rewriting the blurb into an alternative historical present form that removes the implication of ongoing nature. Arguably that blurb was simply badly structured in the first place as a normal headline wouldn't contain the word "is".  — Amakuru (talk) 09:50, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Wikipedia is not trying to be a news outlet; it's an encyclopedia. The correct comparison is then with a site like Britannica. Today, this opens with coverage of Passover:

    April 23, 2024
    Different from All Other Nights
    Last night marked the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover, which commemorates the Hebrews’ liberation from slavery in Egypt and the “passing over” of the forces of destruction, or the sparing of the firstborn of the Israelites, on the eve of Exodus. This year’s celebration occurs against a backdrop of conflict—today also marks the 200th day in the Israel-Hamas War—and heightened concerns of rising anti-Semitism.

    This makes the temporal context quite clear by dating the item and then using tenses accordingly -- the past tense for "last night" and the present tense for "today". Presumably tomorrow they will have a different item as their lead to reflect the fact that the present has moved on. This seems exemplary -- quite clearly explaining what's happening today specifically.
    Andrew🐉(talk) 11:05, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    What about the present tense of "occurs"? I don't think a very long holiday is a good example.
    Looking at a few of their MP blurbs, most of them are anniversaries. Hopefully someone can find more examples of current events. Aaron Liu (talk) 11:13, 23 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It's just a matter of looking. Today, Britannica has another holiday as its featured article – Arbor Day. But it also has a section Behind the Headlines which is similar to our ITN in covering current affairs. This consistently uses the past tense:
    Question of immunity
    As Donald Trump sat in a Manhattan courtroom for the hush-money case regarding Stormy Daniels, the Supreme Court heard arguments as to whether the former president was immune from prosecution...
    Weinstein trial
    The 2020 rape conviction of Harvey Weinstein in New York was overturned on Thursday...
    Falling down the rat hole
    Chicago’s “rat hole”—a section of sidewalk bearing the imprint of a rat—has been shuttered...
    Andrew🐉(talk) 22:11, 27 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Use historical present I don't see why WP:NOTNEWS is being brought up, because in that case surely we should be advocating for the elimination of a section titled "In The News"? If ITN continues to exist, it should use the style common to most respected news publications—the historical present. ~~ AirshipJungleman29 (talk) 16:07, 28 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Not broken, don't fix. In the vast majority of cases, the current approach works perfectly fine and without any chance of confusion. In the very few cases where the blurb phrasing is ambiguous, that can be brought up at WP:ERRORS and an appropriate rephrasing found. We don't need a new rule here. Also, this RFC confuses ITN with the Main Page - present tense is only used in one section of the MP. Modest Genius talk 12:53, 29 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    All this does is make the present-tense rule less stringent so that it'd be easily overridden if needed. That's also what this new "rule" says. Aaron Liu (talk) 12:59, 29 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    ITN is part of the main page. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 15:51, 29 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think what Modest is getting at is that "on the main page" is too general and may be misinterpreted to be about the entire main page. However, I don't think we should change the section header this far into the discussion either. Aaron Liu (talk) 15:52, 29 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Comment: I was curious about the assertion that most news organizations use the present tense, so I did a quick survey:
    • NYT: mix of present and past
    • AP: present
    • Reuters: present
    • BBC: mix
    • The Times: mix
    • LA Times: mix
  • (NB: I'm not watching this page, please ping.) LittlePuppers (talk) 17:03, 1 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • I noticed that the main page is currently using the past tense to describe an event (usage of seen in regards to the aurorae). My proposal supports this usage but it goes against the current version of the special rules for ITN which is always use present. I suppose my point is that the world hasn't ended and that I think my proposal still has merit. I also think this is leagues better than implying the aurorae is visible or appearing, which was my whole gripe with how we described the solar eclipse when it was on the main page. I'm not sure if this is a sign that my proposal has made any strides in convincing people that certain cases may warrant an exemption or if this will be considered an error that someone will try to fix. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 14:36, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    "Seen" is used somewhat as the participle here, so while I agree, I don't think this violates the current rules. Aaron Liu (talk) 14:41, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Wouldn't it be considered to be past participle, though? The current rules don't allow for anything to be written outside the present tense. Hopefully I'm not making a fool of myself and missing something obvious? Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 14:48, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    A series of solar storms impact Earth, creating aurorae (pictured) seen further from the poles than usual. Most of this reads to me as present tense, except the usage of "seen". However, I won't outrule the possibility I'm stupid and not understanding how English works. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 14:56, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The verb that functions as a verb in the sentence is "impact", which is in the present tense. Aaron Liu (talk) 15:20, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm confused about what you mean by this. I understand what you're saying here but I don't understand the broader relevance to what I was talking about. I think I need to learn more about how the English language works, then. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 15:44, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    With hidden words, apparently. You can read that clause as "which were seen" or "which are seen", thus letting everyone believe that this clause was written "their" way. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:32, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    This does make sense to me. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 12:51, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Discussion on this seems to be dying down a bit, so I decided to go through and reread the above discussion. It seems there's 14 people for my proposal and 14 against it. Obviously I'm biased here but I think there's stronger policy-based arguments on my side of the debate: WP:NOTNEWS, WP:NEWSSTYLE, MOS:TENSE, and consistency with almost every other part of the project. The arguments on the opposing side for keeping WP:ITNBLURB the way it is without any exemptions include: not broken, historical present/active writing sounds better, and that some newspapers use this in their version of ITN. Clovermoss🍀 (talk) 12:51, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Wikidata Items shown on Wikipedia?[edit]

I have come across a template, {{Public art header}}, that has among its far-too-many columns a way to list the Wikidata Item identifier (the number beginning with Q) for all the listed public art installations. It seems to me to be unique; I don't think I have seen a Wikidata Item displayed anywhere else on Wikipedia. Also, I don't think that readers will understand these Q-numbers, and clicking on them doesn't lead to some sort of trove of valuable information. Can this be fixed? Abductive (reasoning) 10:02, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Is there a reason you've asked this question here rather than at Template talk:Public art row (where the header template talk page redirects), Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Visual arts or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Visual arts/Public art? It seems that editors familiar with the template are far more likely to see your query there. Thryduulf (talk) 11:24, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I've left notifications at the first and last of those locations, so hopefully someone with relevant knowledge will see your query. I'm still not sure what the connection to policy is though. Thryduulf (talk) 11:27, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm curious if there is a policy on display of Wikidata item identifiers in Wikipedia mainspace? Abductive (reasoning) 14:29, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia:Wikidata#Appropriate usage in articles: 2018 RFC decided "Wikidata should not be linked to within the body of the article except in the manner of hidden comment(s) as to mentioning the Q-number." Not the clearest text, but the intention of the RfC was to disallow the display / link to Wikidata Q numbers in body of articles (linking in templates like taxonbox is a grey area). It's about as meaningful as displaying the Wikipedia page ID somewhere (yes, Wikipedia articles have a page ID, e.g. this very page has ID 986140). Fram (talk) 14:50, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Per WP:WIKIDATA (an information page, not a policy or guideline) there appears to be a consensus (from 2018) that "Wikidata should not be linked to within the body of the article except in the manner of hidden comment(s) as to mentioning the Q-number." the subsequent mentioned February 2023 RFC found no consensus to change the status quo, but it focused almost exclusively on pulling data from Wikidata in lists rather than links to Wikidata, so it appears the 2018 consensus is the most recent relevant one.
That would seem to suggest that such links should not be displayed, but (a) the consensus is old, and (b) consensuses against using Wikidata have always been weaker regarding tables than prose so I don't think there is any justification for making changes without prior discussion.
As for my opinions on the desirability of inclusion, I'm open-minded about the value of links to the Wikidata item (which sometimes contains additional structured data not in the article, especially for works that don't have a standalone article) but I don't think the QID number is the optimal way to present such a link (although I can't immediately think of anything better). Thryduulf (talk) 14:58, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The consensus is not old because sensible editors are nearly universally still following it—even if they don't know it exists. What fraction of the 6.8 million articles display a Q-number? The few uses are cruft and need to be removed forthwith. Abductive (reasoning) 15:32, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's not how consensus works. The consensus is old, because it was arrived at a long time ago. The age of the consensus is unrelated to whether it is still current - that can only be confirmed through discussion. It could be that few articles display Q-numbers because there is a consensus that Q-numbers should not be articles, or it could be that there is a consensus that Q-numbers should only be displayed in particular circumstances (which happen to be uncommon). Both options are consistent with the facts as presented so far. Rather than making hyperbolic assertions and demands it would be better to first have a calm and rational discussion about whether anything has changed in the last six years and see whether consensus still holds or something more nuanced is now appropriate. However, you seem to have actively avoided seeking the views of anyone who might be able to present an explanation for and/or argument in favour of Q-number inclusion in the template I'm not sure that you are actually interested in consensus.
To be clear I'm not arguing for or against inline links to Wikidata in tables, I'm arguing against adding or removing such links before the matter has been discussed civilly and with an open mind. Thryduulf (talk) 16:06, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
My take is that the only reason that these Q-numbers have survived is because they are protected by being in a template. (And if February 2023 is old....) Please tell me the process that can enforce or reinvigorate the current/allegedly old consensus for another year at least. Abductive (reasoning) 20:15, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don’t mind confirming the consensus. I will say what I said last time we discussed it… I think the links to Wikidata have no real benefit to Wikipedia. Q-numbers are incomprehensible to those not already familiar with Wikidata, and the structure of the Wikidata pages if you click on the Q-link is even more confusing. Wikipedia uses text to convey information… Wikidata does not. This results in incompatibility. Blueboar (talk) 20:25, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
And if February 2023 is old.... the February 2023 discussion did not discuss in any depth any of templates, tables or links (it was almost entirely concerned with pulling information into running text and infoboxes). No discussion, no matter how old or new, is relevant to matters not featured in that discussion. Thryduulf (talk) 20:58, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Ok… then let’s continue to discuss and form a NEW consensus on whether these links are appropriate or not. Blueboar (talk) 21:19, 30 April 2024 (UTC)[reply]
My take is that the only reason that these Q-numbers have survived is because they are protected by being in a template is definitely true in a sense - I run an AWB run to enforce the 2018 consensus every month, but that just looks for articles that have a link to Wikidata either directly or through {{Wikidata entity link}}. * Pppery * it has begun... 00:44, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know if this is germane but wanted to mention that we do have "WD" as an option for the interlanguage links template.
sample usage:
"He was the founder of Film History: An International Journal [d]"
He was the founder of {{ill|Film History: An International Journal|wd=Q15751437|short=yes|italic=yes}}
I personally would be bummed if this option went away. (But also the Q number proper is not visible inline so maybe policy doesn't apply?) jengod (talk) 06:06, 2 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that links like this may be good. No Q number should display on any article, but red-links to pages, along with a WikiData page link, are useful for some readers to get a better understanding of the red-linked topic. This is just like links to other language Wikipedias; a link to a Hebrew article won't benifit most readers, but the few it does benifit along with a red link will gain a lot. Animal lover |666| 07:40, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Question for those who think Wikidata is useful[edit]

  • HOW?
This isn’t meant as a snarky question… Perhaps it is because I am very text oriented… but I honestly do not even fully understand the purpose of Wikidata. I know Wikidata compiles some sort of metadata about things, but what is it compiling and why?
When I look at a Wikidata page, I don’t understand what I am looking at… much less how I could use it. So hopefully someone can explain it to me… what information does it compile and how is a reader or editor of Wikipedia use that information? Walk me through an example. Blueboar (talk) 11:50, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
My impression is it is like a catalogue for data on subjects. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:20, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think that connecting different articles, pictures etc on the same topic across the various wikis is useful. Wikidata doesn't only compile metadata it also creates metadata, the most important thing it does is assign a Wikidata number to every thing in the known wiki universe. If someone in Russia uploads a picture of a Forest-steppe marmot (Wikidata number Q12841876) to ruwiki Wikidata makes that image findable by someone from enwiki who doesn't speak Russian. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 16:37, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, that's Commons, or should be! I spend a lot of time looking for and at images, but would never use Wikidata, which has tiny numbers, poorly categorized. Johnbod (talk) 17:04, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Commons doesn't connect pages, but it could fill that role for imagery alone. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:06, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It does (Wikidata itself has no pics of your marmots). Before Wikidata we had a generally effective system for connecting articles in different languages. Johnbod (talk) 17:13, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Commons does not host article unless I am mistaken. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 20:39, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
My impression is that the amount of energy and editor effort that goes into putting data into Wikidata is out of all proportion to the amount of data that is extracted from Wikidata. We have dug an enormous deep well, provided with a plastic cup and piece of string for extraction. Johnbod (talk) 17:04, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The English Wikipedia extracts only a tiny amount of data from Wikidata (because we have policies against doing more), but other projects use more. The same is true of Commons: an awful lot more effort gets put into adding and maintaining (categorising, etc) images on Commons than the English Wikipedia gets out of it. Thryduulf (talk) 17:15, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think the issue is the extraction tools, which can be enhanced as desired, but concerns about the ensuring the quality of the water. (The analogy breaks down a bit here, since the community is putting the water into the well; a water tower might be a somewhat better analogy.) isaacl (talk) 18:03, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Blueboar Wikidata is essentially a collection of factual statements about a subject in a highly structured format similar to infoboxes. In theory a Wikidata entry and a Wikipedia article should convey the same information such that you can construct one from the other (in practice it's not quite the same, but when both are high quality its close).
Taking a random example Statue of George Canning, Parliament Square and d:Q21546419
  • Wikipedia: The statue of George Canning in Parliament Square, Westminster, London, is an 1832 work by Sir Richard Westmacott. The 3.56 metres (11.7 ft) bronze sculpture depicts George Canning (British Prime Minister during 1827)...The statue stands on a 4.4 metres (14 ft) granite plinth which bears the inscription "GEORGE CANNING".
  • Wikidata: Instance of: Statue. Location: Westminster. Located on street: Parliament Square. Located in the administrative territorial entity: City of Westminster. Inception: 1832. Creator: Richard Westmacott. Height: 3.56±0.01 metre (applies to part: statue), 4.4±0.01 metre (applies to part: plinth). Made from material: Bronze (applies to part: statue), Granite (applies to part: plinth). Inscription: GEORGE CANNING (language: English; location: Plinth).
Thryduulf (talk) 17:12, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's a stub article, & doesn't answer the question: what's the point? Johnbod (talk) 17:16, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There isn't much of one. The people who boost Wikidata, and the people interested in maintaining and building a verifiable, high-quality encyclopedia, don't seem to have a ton of overlap. Most of the "pros" of Wikidata aren't pros for us (you mean we can autofill infobox fields with stuff that has less quality control and no referencing? Oh boy!) and are more aimed at people who harvest Wikipedia for data. Der Wohltemperierte Fuchs talk 17:26, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Without looking at the statistics (meaning I might be wrong) a majority of Wikidata administrators who list English as their mothertongue are also English Wikipedia administrators. Ymblanter (talk) 18:08, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikidata is a structured database of facts with great potential. Unfortunately, as you point out above, this well comes with a plastic cup, rather than the more sophisticated plumbing required for that data to flow freely and be tapped productively. It may turn out to be a dead end but could become a core element of the future of knowledge. For example, rather than having AI mine the net and plagiarise whatever plausible junk it found in someone's blog, one might build a system which can respond to natural-language questions with answers as accurate as Wikidata's content. Certes (talk) 17:39, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly, using Wikipedia it would be extremely hard work (if not impossible) to find the answer to something like: "What is the oldest bronze statue in London over 3 metres tall?" But that's trivial on Wikidata (assuming the data has been added). Thryduulf (talk) 17:43, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It being a stub-article is irrelevant. The point is to collate a repository of factual information in a structured format, which is similar to but not the same as Wikipedia's goal to collate a repository of encyclopaedic information in prose (and list) format. The information is mostly the same (although Wikipedia's inclusion criteria are more restrictive), it's just presented very differently. Some people find it extremely useful to have the information in structured format, that other people don't understand why they find it useful is irrelevant. Thryduulf (talk) 17:39, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply] Well intentioned at least. Selfstudier (talk) 17:43, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you all for at least trying to explain. I get that WD is a compilation of “structured data” … But I suppose I am still confused as to why we are structuring that data in the first place (because we can?)… then I ask: why do we structure it the incomprehensible way we do. To me it looks like gobbledegook. It certainly isn’t the sort of thing “Anyone can edit” (because I certainly couldn’t). Anyway… thanks again for your patience with me. Blueboar (talk) 19:37, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Structured data has lots of advantages for situations like machine parsing, assisted translation, etc. The way we structure it is very logical and extremely far from gobbledegook - at least to me (and probably more so to people like computer programmers). The barrier to contributing is slightly higher than Wikipedia, but it is a project anyone can edit. Thryduulf (talk) 20:17, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Ah… so the primary purpose is to aid machines? (Not meant as snark). Blueboar (talk) 20:47, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Any automated process can benefit. That includes the most used example at present: enabling every language Wikipedia to have the same set of cross-language Wikipedia links for a given article. If the issue of ensuring the data was verified and kept stable according the the standards of all language Wikipedia sites, then pulling more data automatically through, say, templates could be done. Birthdates could be easily synched, citations could be generated automatically, and so forth. The verification and stability issue remains a key challenge, though, and Wikidata's current user interface is likely an impediment for expanding its user base to a more general population. isaacl (talk) 21:15, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's been a while since I entered any data into Wikidata, but when I did, I found it took a considerable amount of time to enter in all the data items to fully cover every property of the source of the data. I appreciate that's the way it goes when every piece of data is an item in its own right with its own properties. It would help a lot, though, if an interface could be devised to automate as much of the work as possible: perhaps something that could traverse down the tree, match up property values to corresponding existing data items as much as possible, show placeholders for new items that need to be created, and present the tree for editing. (Maybe there's been enhancements already that speed up the process?) isaacl (talk) 21:25, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia is legible by humans. Wikidata is legible by computers. Its potential is for answering questions like the example above : "What is the oldest bronze statue in London over 3 metres tall?". It just needs an intuitive interface, and protection from the vandalism which will inevitably occur once non-specialists begin to hear of it. Certes (talk) 21:39, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikidata is serves as a central repository for all Wikimedia projects. It connects the same topic across languages much easier, the identifiers can be used to build redlists (such as WP:WikiProject Women in Red/Redlist index) quite intuitively using SPARQL, and through WP:Authority control we can connect between the Wikidata entry and outside repositories such as VIAF and national library catalogs and WorldCat (see the Authority control article for why this is of supreme importance to us). You can probably find more info on their help pages. Curbon7 (talk) 20:15, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
A central repository of what? Blueboar (talk) 20:48, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Data. Curbon7 (talk) 20:54, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What data? All data? Specific data? Data for the sake of collecting data? Blueboar (talk) 21:08, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
To explain fully is to explain the entire field of Library and information science, so for our purposes see Thryduulf's Canning example above: Instance of: Statue. Location: Westminster. Located on street: Parliament Square. Located in the administrative territorial entity: City of Westminster. Inception: 1832. Creator: Richard Westmacott. Height: 3.56±0.01 metre (applies to part: statue), 4.4±0.01 metre (applies to part: plinth). Made from material: Bronze (applies to part: statue), Granite (applies to part: plinth). Inscription: GEORGE CANNING (language: English; location: Plinth) is all data. Using SPARQL queries, you can use this to find, for example, all listed instances of statues incepted in 1832 or statues by Richard Westmacott in Westminster or whatever other query is desired. This is one of the purposes of Wikidata, but not the only one, as I've explained above. Curbon7 (talk) 21:27, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Crotos is one of the best applications built from Wikidata in my opinion; it's a search engine for artworks, and the results for individual artists can be browsed in chronological order. These are the results for Richard Westmacott. My hope is that the use of the template {{Public art row}} on pages like (as it happens) Richard Westmacott could be used to further populate Wikidata, by generating Wikidata data items based on instances of the template on the page. In that scenario the wikidata parameter in the template would be useful for indicating which items in the list already have Wikidata items and which don't yet. That wouldn't be a reason to display the Wikidata ID on the page, though; it would only need to be in the code. @14GTR, what do you think of this? Ham II (talk) 05:20, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for pinging me to this Ham II & apologies for the delay in replying - busy times. I have not come across Crotos before and would need to see more of it before commenting on it. I would say that including the Wikidata number beside individual items in a table of artworks or monuments simply provides a link to further sources of information on that specific item, including the various art databases, national archives and major libraries with relevant entries. To me, including the Wikidata number in such tables performs the same, or a similar, service that the Authority Control template provides at the bottom of a single-subject page. The only substantial difference, I can see is that an AC template, and others such as Art UK bio template, take their data from the Wikidata page while the Q number takes the reader to the Wikidata page. I've yet to see a table or chart with multiple Authority Control templates in it, so presumably that's why the Wikidata option is included in the table header. Again, thanks for the ping.14GTR (talk) 13:52, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I imagine big tech companies find it useful as an input for training their AIs. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 20:42, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
This applies much more to Wikipedia than to Wikidata, because LLMs take input in the form of long text documents rather than abstract representations of propositions. MartinPoulter (talk) 08:32, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Blueboar You've already received a number of good answers, but here's my perspective. Wikidata has a large number of possible uses, not only for other WMF projects, but also for third parties. For Wikipedias, beyond the basic task of maintaining inter-wiki links, Wikidata generally has the information required to fill in most of an infobox: That is how it is used on most projects, and the English Wikipedia is an outlier in underusing this.
@Johnbod "Before Wikidata we had a generally effective system for connecting articles in different languages" The old system was that every project maintained their own list of equivalent articles. This resulted in a lot of duplicated effort and inconsistency between projects, and generally poor results for small projects, but it more-or-less worked out for larger projects. Bovlb (talk) 18:11, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
What are you talking about? The old system (which can still be seen in the French, Italian & other wps) was nothing to do with projects. Each article had a list of interwiki links off to the side, which was manually maintained, with no doubt bots doing the exact matches. Rather more trouble to maintain, but generally pretty effective. Johnbod (talk) 00:00, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
One of us is confused. All Wikipedias have been using Wikidata for the interwiki links for some time. The "list off to the side" is now maintained in Wikidata (largely manually). There is no difference in the way ENWP, FRWP, and ITWP do this.
In the old days, interwiki links were stored within the article on each project. There was some bot support for copying this from project to project, but that process had limitations. Bovlb (talk) 00:54, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@David Fuchs "you mean we can autofill infobox fields with stuff that has less quality control and no referencing" Every project struggles with quality control and referencing, and Wikidata is no exception. The benefit of storing this information centrally for all projects is that the effort to ensure quality control and add references can be shared across all WMF projects. Again, this is an area where larger projects get the smaller benefit but have an opportunity to contribute more to smaller projects. If larger projects choose to boycott Wikidata because of (perceived) quality problems, then this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Bovlb (talk) 18:11, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikidata is a wonderful idea in theory, particularly for Wikipedias in less widely known languages than English. For us at English Wikipedia there are two drawbacks - as the largest Wikipedia most of the traffic goes in the direction Wikipedia->Wikidata rather than the reverse, and (from anecdotal evidence) they do not seem to apply policies and guidelines as strictly as we do. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:31, 3 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
"they do not seem to apply policies and guidelines as strictly as we do" I'd be interested to hear more about this. Wikidata has its own policies and guidelines that differ from other projects. Inasmuch as it is a shared resource between all other WMF projects, it is broadly required to permit anything needed to support any client project. For example, this means that it cannot impose general restrictions on IP users or be aggressive about inappropriate usernames. Bovlb (talk) 18:18, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't mean policies about whether an editor chooses to register and under what user name, but about sourcing. As I say my evidence is anecdotal, and it is from the early days of Wikidata, but I understand that the reason Wikidata is not used more widely on the English Wikipedia is because much of the content is not reliably sourced. Phil Bridger (talk) 19:27, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There is a lot of information on Wikidata that is not sourced, and much more that is sourced to a Wikipedia (which may or may not itself be reliably sourced). Just like on Wikipedia lack of sourcing doesn't mean it's necessarily wrong of course. It is far easier to tell what information on Wikidata is and isn't sourced than it is on Wikipedia, as every statement has (or doesn't have) an associated source where here a source at the end of a paragraph my back up all or only some of the claims made within it. This does mean that it's easier to generate sourced Wikipedia content from Wikidata than vice versa.
Obviously "source" and "reliable source" are not necessarily the same thing, but that's no different to sourcing here - it can only be assessed in terms of the specific claim and context. However the 1:1 link between claim and source means that that assessment can be easier (e.g. there is much less room for argument about whether a non-MEDRS source is being used to support a biomedical claim). Thryduulf (talk) 19:46, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
In the early days of Wikidata, there was a much weaker emphasis on sources than there is now. This mirrors the development of Wikipedia. Just as with Wikipedia, they don't require a reference for every statement, just those that are challenged. Certain properties are inherently likely to be challenged, so should generally be referenced, and there is automated detection of such problems. References are also important for establishing notability on Wikidata. Many statements are marked as being imported from Wikipedia, which is more of a tracking annotation than a true reference.
As I said above, Wikidata definitely struggles with quality issues and a lack of references. I believe that a greater use of Wikidata by large projects like the English Wikipedia would improve both of these, not only through many eyes seeing defects and many hands fixing them, but also because it would lead to the development of better tools.
Wikidata was created to support and improve client projects like the English Wikipedia. If it's not serving those needs, please help it to do better. Bovlb (talk) 21:19, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Best I can tell, Wikidata was an attempt to crowdsource a world model to be used for development/implementation of "AI" agents; save cost and time for large corporations working AI. That was before transformers happened. Old "AI"s are probably still using it. Usedtobecool ☎️ 05:56, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That's a weird bundle of misconceptions. The way Linked data and the Semantic web work is different, arguably opposite, to what transformers do. That's why there's interest in getting them to work together. Also, why focus on "large corporations" rather than the opportunities for programmers to create apps and visualisations in a day that used to take months? MartinPoulter (talk) 08:30, 4 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That, or you just misunderstood what I was saying. My point was, post-transformers, AI is reading Wikipedia, and all other natural-language sources directly. I wouldn't be surprised if I was wrong since I'm mainly going by our own articles, but they say Google, among others, funded Wikidata and once it was up and running, closed its own project for a similar base. Google knowledge graph must be using Wikidata, since it closed freebase and exported it to Wikidata. Amazon and Apple also use it for their virtual assistants. Sure, anyone could use it; I mentioned large corporations because they're the ones using it for anything worth mentioning per our articles. — Usedtobecool ☎️ 07:35, 5 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • As the OP likes the way that Wikipedia presents data, they should just read its article Wikidata which provides plenty of information about that project and its uses. One of its sources is a systematic review of the scholarly literature about the project. Andrew🐉(talk) 20:26, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Thanks to all for the replies. FYI, I actually did read the Wikidata article before I posted my questions. I found the explanations here in this thread more informative than the article (perhaps there was less “jargon” being used here?) Anyway… while I am still baffled by a lot at WD (and could not edit or contribute to it at all) you have all helped me to at least better understand why it was created in the first place… so thanks again. Blueboar (talk) 21:07, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Copy paste plagiarism from out of copyright materials.[edit]

Hi, I was just wondering what the correct template is for signalling articles which have copypasted text from an out of copyright source. This article is a word for word copy from this source, and I'm pretty sure that's not ok, so we must have a template. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:45, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

It is ok, since the source is in the public domain and the text is properly attributed. There are many templates used to attribute the sources being copied, and that article uses one of them (Template:DNB). Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 16:49, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
In the early days, it was considered a good thing to copy articles from the 1911 Encyclopedia Brittanica to fill in the gaps. Donald Albury 17:02, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Many people (not the OP) don't seem to understand the difference between copyright violation and plagiarism. Copyright violation is the copying of copyrighted text with or without attribution against the terms of the copyright licence (with an allowance for "fair use" in nearly all jurisdictions). Plagiarism is the passing off of someone else's work as one's own, whether the work is copyrighted or not. This is not copyright violation, because it is out of copyright, and not plagiarism, because it is properly attributed. Phil Bridger (talk) 17:47, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
So, let me get this straight, are users saying that it is ok to copypaste text from an out of copyright text as long as that text is attributed? This feels very wrong, which wikipolicies allow this?Boynamedsue (talk) 22:19, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
See the content guideline at Wikipedia:Plagiarism. While at least some editors would prefer that such material be rewritten by an editor, there is no prohibition on copying verbatim from free sources; it is allowed as long as proper attribution to the original source is given. Donald Albury 22:39, 7 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think it needs to be done with considerable caution if at all, and it just seems like a less ideal option in almost every case, save for particular passages that are just too hard to rewrite to the same effect. But I think the consensus is that it is allowed. Remsense 01:20, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Copyright has a limited term (though these days, in many countries, a very long one) precisely to allow the work of the past to be built upon to generate new creative works. isaacl (talk) 01:48, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Nothing new is generated when you copy something verbatim. Traumnovelle (talk) 08:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Remixing from sampled works is increasingly common. Imitating other people's work is done to learn new styles. Jazz music specifically has a tradition of incorporating past standards into new performances. Critical analysis can be more easily placed in context as annotations. And from an educational standpoint, more people can learn about/read/watch/perform works when the barrier to disseminating them is lessened. What's in copyright today is the source of new widely-spread traditional works in the future. isaacl (talk) 14:44, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Aye, every time you read a poem it's a new translation. If this were Wikiversity, I think there'd actually be a lot of room for interesting experiments remixing\ PD material. Remsense 14:46, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You wrote a lot but none of it actually addresses what I've said. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:33, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I gave examples of new creative works that have copied past work verbatim. isaacl (talk) 04:11, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, comparing the two, and looking at the edit history, it is not at all true that "...This article is a word for word copy from this source." Much has been changed or rewritten (and many of the spicy bits removed). This is fairly typical for this sort of biography, I would say. Johnbod (talk) 02:48, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I was a bit imprecise there, it is the first three to four paragraphs of the life section that are directly lifted word for word. I'm just a little shocked at this as anywhere other than wikipedia this would be classified as gross plagiarism.Boynamedsue (talk) 05:21, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If it's clearly noted as an excerpt (and not just a reference) I wouldn't feel able to say that. However like I've said above, the number of cases where this would be the best option editorially is vanishingly few for an excerpt of that length. Remsense 05:22, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
(As such, I've explicated the attribution in the footnote itself, not just the list of works.) Remsense 05:37, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Collecting, copying or reproducing high quality, classic writings on a topic is quite common in publishing. See anthology, for example. Andrew🐉(talk) 20:54, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That is true, but publishing big chunks of it unchanged as part of a new book under a new name, without specifically stating that this text was written by someone else is not. If you cite someone else, you have to use different language, unless you make it clear you are making a direct quotationBoynamedsue (talk) 21:01, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
But the article does (and did) specifically state that it was written by someone else. Phil Bridger (talk) 21:31, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It didn't. It cited a source, that is not the same as stating the text was a direct quotation from that source. It now states: "This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain" which is an improvement but does not differentiate between which parts are direct quotes and which use the source properly.Boynamedsue (talk) 21:40, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That seems very unneeded, as no one is claiming specific authorship of this article, and as the material used for derivation has long been linked to so that one can see what that version said. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 21:50, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Anywhere but wikipedia, passing off someone else's words as your own is plagiarism. The kind of thing that people are rightly sacked, kicked out of universities or dropped by publishers for. This includes situations where a paper is cited but text is copy-pasted without being attributed as a quote.
I'm more than a little shocked by this situation, but if so many experienced editors think that it's ok, there's not much I can do about it.Boynamedsue (talk) 22:00, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's because we aren't trying to impress the teacher with our sooper riting skilz. We're providing information to the WP:READER, who isn't supposed to care who wrote what. This is fundamentally a collective effort. Note the tagline is "From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia" not "By Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". There exist WP:FORKS of Wikipedia where 99.9% of the content is unchanged. Are they plagiarizing us?
An analogy that might help is the stone soup. If you grew the carrots yourself, great! But if you legally gleaned them instead, so what? The soup is still tastier. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 22:27, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, wiki-mirrors are clearly plagiarising wikipedia, even though they are breaking no law. Wikipedia is a collective effort of consenting wikipedians, it is not supposed to be a repository of texts stolen from the dead. That's wikisource's job.Boynamedsue (talk) 22:34, 8 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
A Wikipedia article doesn't proport to be your work. They are a collaborative effort by multiple people. The fact that some of these people are long dead before this text shows up here is irrelevant. If copying from a PD source, you certainly should make it clear where the text is from, but it's not an absolute requirement. Additionally, if a statement of the source wasn't done by the revsion author, it can be done subsequently by anyone else (assuming no blocks or bans forbid this particular person from editing this particular article). Animal lover |666| 15:28, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't see why it would be acceptable for it not to be made clear. Once more, there's a distinction between copyvio and plagiarism—the fault with the latter for our purposes broadly being that readers are not adequately made aware of where what they are reading came from. The obvious default assumption of any reader is that they are reading something a Wikipedia editor wrote. Tucked away as it is, there is an edit history that lists each contributing editor. This is not superfluous context to me, it's about maintaining a sane relationship between editors and audience. Even if there's potentially nothing wrong with it divorced from social context, in terms of pure claims and copyright law—we don't live in a media environment divorced from social context, there's no use operating as if we don't meaningfully exist as authors and editors. Remsense 15:34, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
By the way, plagiarizing Wikipedia would be a copyright violation, since Wikipedia texts are released under a license that requires attribution. Same can't be said for PD texts. Animal lover |666| 18:43, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
When EB1911 was published, copyright in the United Kingdom expired seven years after the author's death, so "the dead" would probably just be surprised that it took so long for their work to be reprinted. Wikipedia exists to provide free content, the defining feature of which is that it can be reused by anyone for any purpose (in our case, with attribution). So it shouldn't really be surprising that experienced editors here are generally positive about reusing stuff. – Joe (talk) 19:18, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The stuff you are claiming is "plagiarized" is getting far better attribution than most of the writing in Wikipedia. Most of the contributing writers get no credit on the page itself, it is all in the edit history. I'm not sure whose writing you think we're passing this off as. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 15:19, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think simply being stated at the bottom is pretty much exactly the level of credit editors get—for me to feel comfortable with it it should be stated inline, which is what I added after the issue was raised. Remsense 15:21, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
To be fair I think the only reason these things tend to be noted with a template at the bottom of the article is that the vast majority of public domain content was imported in the project's early days, as a way of seeding content, and back then inline citations were barely used. – Joe (talk) 19:23, 9 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Uh, what are we going to do, dock their pay? jp×g🗯️ 07:42, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Was thinking more along the lines of tagging the text or reverting, a talkpage message and possibly blocks for recidivists. But like I said earlier, it appears that the consensus is that things are fine how they are. World's gone mad, but what am I off to do about it? Nowt. Boynamedsue (talk) 08:14, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The text you're worried about was added twelve years ago by a user who that has been blocked for the last eleven years (for, wait for it... improper use of copyrighted content). I think that ship has sailed. – Joe (talk) 08:24, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
There you go, gateway drug.Boynamedsue (talk) 08:27, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think that hypothesis is replicable. Alpha3031 (t • c) 09:58, 10 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • There does appear to be a consensus that such works need to be attributed somehow, and despite whatever disagreement there is, the disagreement in substance appears to be how that is done. What we are doing in these instances is republication (which is a perfectly ordinary thing to do), and yes we should let the reader know that is being done, but I'm not seeing a suggestion for changing how we do that. Alanscottwalker (talk) 14:53, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It seems to me that the OP asked a question and got an answer, and discussion since has been extracurricular. Remsense 14:57, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure, but the OP does have a point that the more the use of the work looks like our work and not someone else's work, the more it looks like plagiarism. For example, putting a unique sentence in from another's work, and just dropping a footnote, like all the other sentences in our article, is not enough, in that instance you should likely use quotation marks and even in line attribution. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:19, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think, as with most things, it depends on the situation. Plagiarism is not just the use of words without attribution, but ideas. An idea that has general acceptance might get attributed inline once in an article if it is associated strongly with a specific person or set of persons. But every mention of DNA's double helix doesn't have to be accompanied with an attribution to Watson and Crick. If some info about a person is written up by a reporter in a now public-domain source, for many cases it's probably not too essential to have inline attribution when including that info in an article. If it's something that reporter was known for breaking to the public, then it would be relevant. isaacl (talk) 15:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    But that was not the situation being discussed, it was word for word, copying the work. Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:48, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure; just underscoring that if the concern is plagiarism, it applies more broadly to the restatement of ideas. Rewording a sentence doesn't prevent it from being plagiarism. Even with a sentence being copied, I feel the importance of an inline attribution depends on the situation, as I described. isaacl (talk) 15:55, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Sure, but that is similar a simple phrase alone, like 'He was born.' cannot be copyrighted nor the subject of plagiarism. Now if you use the simple phrase 'He was born.' in a larger poem and someone baldly copies your poem in large part with the phrase, the copyist violated your copyright, if still in force, and they did plagiarize. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:19, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, copying a poem likely warrants inline attribution, so... it depends on the situation. isaacl (talk) 16:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    And that's the issue raised, regarding republication on wiki, is it currently enough to address plagiarism. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:35, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think the need for inline attribution depends in the same way as for content still under copyright. The original question only discussed the copyright status as a criterion. I don't think this by itself can be used to determine if inline attribution is needed. isaacl (talk) 16:43, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    As plagiarism and copyright are two different, if sometimes related, inquiries. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:08, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    >If some info about a person is written up by a reporter in a now public-domain source, for many cases it's probably not too essential to have inline attribution
    It absolutely is essential per WP:V. Traumnovelle (talk) 15:49, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Attribution is required. Inline attribution is not (that is, stating the source within the prose). isaacl (talk) 15:58, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    It still requires sourcing. Traumnovelle (talk) 16:06, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Yes, attribution is sourcing. isaacl (talk) 16:15, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think, better to distinguish the two. Attribution is explicitly letting the reader know these words, this idea, this structure came from someone else, whereas sourcing is letting the reader know you can find the gist or basis for the information in my words, there. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:16, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    My apologies for being unclear. I was responding to the statement that inline attribution absolutely is essential. Providing a reference for the source of content is necessary. Providing this information within the prose, as opposed to a footnote, is not. isaacl (talk) 19:57, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Certainly, it is possible to put explicit attribution in the footnote parenthetical or in an efn note. (I think your response to this might be , 'it depends' :))Alanscottwalker (talk) Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:18, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I think you might be talking past each other. isaacl is simply stating that WP:V requires attribution, it does not require any particular method of attribution. What method of attribution is preferable in a given place is not a matter for WP:V. Thryduulf (talk) 23:55, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Should be be providing in-line attribution for every sentence on Wikipedia to let the reader know which editor wrote which part of it? Wikipedia isn't an academic paper, as long as we can verify that there are no copyright issues with the content (such as an attribution-required license), attribution doesn't matter. --Ahecht (TALK
    19:32, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Surely there's some reasonable position between "attribution doesn't matter" and "attribute every sentence inline". Remsense 09:06, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Yah, sorry those two extremes certainly don't follow from each other (Nor does the comment you are responding to discuss inline). The guideline is WP:Plagiarism and it does not go to those extremes on either end. (Also, Wikipedia does publically attribute each edit to an editor, and it does not need to be in the article, it is appendixed to the article.) -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:51, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Around 2006, I reworked a copy-pasted EB1911 biography about a 16th century person, it took me about a week. It has stood the test of time, and remains to this day a pretty good article despite having the same structure and modified sentences. The lead section is entirely new, and there are new sources and section breaks and pictures etc.. but the bulk of it is still that EB1911 article (reworded). I do not see the problem with this. Disney reworked Grimms tales. Hollywood redoes old stories. Sometimes old things are classics that stand the test of time, with modern updates. -- GreenC 16:44, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think everybody is fine with articles which are largely based on a single source when they are reworded. It's not the platonic ideal, but it is a good start. The problem we are discussing is when people don't bother to reword. Well, I say problem, I have been told it's not one, so there's nothing left to say really.--Boynamedsue (talk) 20:06, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If you actually just reword a source like 1911, you should still use the 1911 template, and no, the thing you have not explained is why the template is not enough. Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:29, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. This proposal is WP:GREATWRONGS. The article John Leslie, 1st Duke of Rothes is perfectly fine. It does not violate any policy, guideline or consensus. There is nothing objectionable about that article. The proposal to rewrite the article would not improve the article and would result only in disruption. The proposal to put a template on the article solely to disparage the inclusion of public domain content in the article would result only in disruption. It would be disruptive to discuss this proposal further, because this proposal is disruptive, because this proposal is WP:GREATWRONGS. James500 (talk) 18:50, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Huh? There is no proposal. Also, there has long been a template used on the article. Your attempt to shut down discussion is also way, way off, (and your RGW claim is risible). Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:12, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    I propose all WP:GREATWRONGS should be righted immediately.Boynamedsue (talk) 20:06, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    WP:IAR! Alanscottwalker (talk) 20:12, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Amongst other things, the OP said that copying public domain text, with the correct attribution, "feels very wrong". James500 (talk) 20:49, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
So, WP:GREATWRONGS is applicable whenever anyone uses the word "wrong"?Boynamedsue (talk) 20:59, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Only when great. -- GreenC 15:44, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose any change to the practice of incorporating public domain content. Wikipedia is not an experiment in creative writing. It is an encyclopedia. It's sole and entire purpose is to convey information to readers. If readers can be informed through the conveyance of text that has entered the public domain, then this should not only be permissible, it should be applauded. BD2412 T 20:52, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Again, there is no proposal to do something different. The OP apparently forgot about things like anthologies and republication of out of copyright (like eg. all of Jane Austin's work, etc), but than when such matter was brought to his attention, retrenched to whether attribution was explicit (which we already do) enough, but has never explained what enough, is proposed. Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:24, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    The proposal was to create a maintenance template that encourages editors to delete all text copied from public domain sources from all Wikipedia articles, even if that text is correctly attributed, simply because it is copied from a public domain source. He actually tried to tag the article with Template:Copypaste (alleging copyright infringement), despite the fact that the content is public domain and was correctly attributed at the time, with the Template:DNB attribution template. James500 (talk) 23:49, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    That's not a proposal, he asked what template is appropriate, and he was given the list of templates at Template:DNB. Alanscottwalker (talk) 00:49, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
  • oppose the existence of a proposal: I would like to clarify, wherever people think they are seeing a proposal, there isn't one. I asked a question about what tag to use when people plagiarise out of copyright texts. I got an answer I think is stupid and expressed incredulity for a couple of posts. Then, when I realised that people were indeed understanding what I was talking about, said if so many experienced editors think that it's ok, there's not much I can do about it. WP:NOVOTE has never been more literally true, there is nothing to vote on here...Boynamedsue (talk) 04:07, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
    Support not adding any more bold-face votes. Suffusion of Yellow (talk) 04:19, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Alanscottwalker says above that the more the use of the work looks like our work and not someone else's work, the more it looks like plagiarism.

Animal lover says above that A Wikipedia article doesn't proport to be your work. They are a collaborative effort by multiple people. The fact that some of these people are long dead before this text shows up here is irrelevant.

I think this is a difference in how people implicitly view it. The first view says "A Wikipedia article is written by people who type the content directly into the editing window. If your username isn't in the article's history page, then your words shouldn't be in the article. Article content should come exclusively from Wikipedia editors. If it doesn't, it's not really a Wikipedia article. This is our implicit promise: Wikipedia is original content, originally from Wikipedia editors. If it's not original content, it should have a notice to the reader on it to say that we didn't write it ourselves. Otherwise, we are taking credit for work done by someone who is them and not-us in an us–them dichotomy".

The second view says "A Wikipedia article is a collection of text from different people and different places. Where it came from is unimportant. We never promised that the contents of any article came from someone who directly edited the articles themselves. It's silly to say that we need to spam an article with statements that bits and pieces were pasted in from public domain sources. We wouldn't countenance 'written by a random person on the internet' in the middle of article text, so why should we countenance a disclaimer that something was 'previously published by a reliable source'? I don't feel like I'm taking credit for any other editor's article contributions, so why would you think that I'm claiming credit for something copied from a public domain source?"

If you the first resonates strongly with you, then it's shocking to see {{PD-USGov}} and {{EB1911}} content casually and legally inserted into articles without telling the reader that those sentences had previously been published some place else. OTOH, if you hold the opposite view, then the first probably seems quite strange. As this is a matter of people's intuitive feelings about what Wikipedia means, I do not see any likelihood of editors developing a unified stance. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:56, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

This is a reasonable summary of the issue. I think many of those who hold the first view work in or have close ties to fields where plagiarism is considered a very bad thing indeed. Academic and publishing definitions of plagiarism include using the direct words of another writer, even when attributed, unless it is explicitly made clear that the copied text is a direct quotation. For people who hold that view outside of wikipedia, the existence of large quantities of plagiarised text would detract seriously from its credibility and validity as a project.Boynamedsue (talk) 07:07, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I work in publishing, and there is plenty of space there where such specificities are not generally called for. If one is doing an abridged edition, children's edition, or updated version of a book, one credits the work which one is reworking but does not separate out phrase by phrase of what is from that source. Much the same goes, of course, for film adaptations, music sampling, and so on. -- Nat Gertler (talk) 16:28, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think the difference there is that you are giving primary credit to the original author, and your work is voluntarily subsumed into theirs (while of course correctly stating that it is a Children's version or an abridged edition, giving editor credits etc.). In wikipedia, we are taking other people's work and subsuming it into ours.--Boynamedsue (talk) 16:37, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think the dichotomy is useful but I doubt anyone can subscribe to the pure form of either position. If I had to guess, I would assume most editors would agree with most of the sentences in both statements when presented in isolation. Remsense 07:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No. Your characterization is too gross to be useful and your made up dichotomy is just silly. We have those templates precisely because we try to give credit where credit is due, per WP:PLAGIARISM, so there is nothing shocking at all about {{PD-USGov}} and {{EB1911}} content. Sure, there are other ways to do it, than those templates, even so. Plagiarism is not a law, so your reference to the law makes no sense. But what is the law is, Wikipedia has to be written by persons, who can legally licence what they put on our pages, and if you did not write it you can't release it, nor purport to release it nor make it appear you are releasing under your licence, when you can't and you aren't. And Wikipedia does not warrant we offer good information either, in fact Wikipedia disclaims it in our disclaimer, that does not mean Wikipedian's don't care about good information. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 10:23, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia is written by people who freely license their contributions by the act of editing. But, public domain material is already free, does not need to be licensed, and so can be freely added to Wikipedia. Material that has been released under a free license can also be freely added to Wikipedia, subject to the conditions of the license, such as attribution (although we cannot copy material under a license that does not allow commercial use, but that has nothing to do with this discussion). There is no policy, rule, or law that Wikipedia has to be written by persons (although the community currently is rejecting material written by LLMs). Reliable content is reliable whether is written by Wikipedia editors based on reliable sources, or copied from reliable sources that are in the public domain or licensed under terms compatible with usage in Wikipedia. I believe that we should be explicitly citing everything that is in articles, even if I know that will not be happening any time soon. We should, however, be explicitly citing all public domain and freely-licensed content that is copied into Wikipedia, being clear that the content is copied. One of the existing templates or a specific indication in a footnote or in-line citation is sufficient, in my opinion. Donald Albury 14:43, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, you cannot present it as if you are licencing it (and indeed requiring attribution to you!) which is what you do if just copy the words into an article and don't say, in effect, 'this is not under my licence this is public domain, that other person wrote it.' (Your discussion of LLM's and what not, is just beside the point, you, a person, are copying, not someone else.) And your last point, we are in radical agreement certainly (about letting the reader know its public domain that other person wrote it, and that's what the templates try to do) we are not in a dichotomy, at all. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 15:28, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Alan, I think your response makes me more certain that my two polar ends are real. You're working from the viewpoint that if it's on the page, and does not contain words like "According to EB1911" outside of a little blue clicky number and outside of the history page, then the editor who put that text there is "purporting" that the text was written by that editor.
There's nothing in the license that requires is to let the reader know that it's public domain or that another person wrote it. You know that a quick edit summary is 100% sufficient for the license requirements, even if nothing in the text or footnotes mentions the source. The story you present sounds like this to me:
  • The license doesn't require attribution for public domain content.
  • Even if it did, it wouldn't require anything more visible than an edit summary saying "Copied from EB1911".
  • So (you assert) there has to be in-text attribution ("According to EB1911, a wedding cake...") or a plain-text statement at the end of the article ("This article incorporates text from EB1911") to the public domain, so the casual, non-reusing reader knows that it wasn't written by whichever editor posted it on the page.
This doesn't logically follow. I suspect that what you've written so far doesn't really explain your view fully. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:44, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No. Your false dichotomy has already been shown to be of no value. Now you add to your baseless assumptions about clicky numbers and what not. I think that editors add content to Wikipedia under the license (otherwise we would have no license), yet I also think we need to tell the reader that the matter comes from somewhere else, when it comes from somewhere else. None of that should be hard to understand for anyone. (And besides, article histories are not secrets, they are public and publicly tied to text available to the reader and anyone else.) It's just bizarre that you would imagine an unbridgeable void, when basically everyone is saying that a disclosure should be made, and they are only really discussing degrees and forms of disclosure. -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, a disclosure should be made, and it was made. Phil Bridger (talk) 18:51, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, indeed, and that is why the discussion is about form. Alanscottwalker (talk) 19:14, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Alan, I don't agree that the spectrum I describe is a false dichotomy, or that anyone has even attempted to show whether it has value, though I gather that you happen to disagree with it.
I don't agree that the CC-BY-SA license requires disclosure of the source of public domain material. I think that's a question for a bunch of lawyers to really settle, but based on my own understanding, it does not. I think that Wikipedia should have such requirements (e.g, in Wikipedia:Public domain, which notably does not mention the CC-BY-SA license as a reason to do so; instead, it says only that this is important for Wikipedia's reliability), but I don't think we have any reason to believe that the license does. This distinction may seem a little like hairsplitting, but if we propose to change our rules about how to handle these things, we should be accurate about what's required for which reasons. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:00, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It should not take a lawyer to tell you that to grant a licence you first have to have a right, and that you should not be misrepresenting that you have right when you don't. A lawyer can't give you the ability to be honest. You're not proposing to change rules, and indeed there is no proposal here, so that proposal talk of yours is irrelevant at best. (As for your false dichotomy, it is just a figment of your imagination, a useless piece of rhetoric, where you pretend you know what others think.) Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:37, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Issues from Deletion Review[edit]

Here are two otherwise unrelated issues that have recently come up at Deletion Review.

Non-Admin Close as No Consensus[edit]

More than once in recent months, there has been an appeal to Deletion Review where a non-admin closed an Articles for Deletion discussion as No Consensus, and one of the questions at DRV was whether the close was a bad non-administrative close. The language in question is

A non-admin closure is not appropriate in any of the following situations:… The outcome is a close call (especially where there are several valid outcomes) or likely to be controversial.

It seems clear to some editors that a non-administrative close of No Consensus is almost always wrong, or at least may be overturned by an admin and then should be left for the admin. If it is correct that No Consensus is almost always a close call or that No Consensus is often likely to be controversial, then I suggest that the guideline be clarified to state that a non-administrative close of No Consensus is discouraged and is likely to be contested. If, on the other hand, it is thought that No Consensus is sometimes an obvious conclusion that can be found by a non-admin, then the guideline should be clarified in that respect.

Robert McClenon (talk) 05:18, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Any outcome can be controversial. But not all no-consensus outcomes are controversial. -- GreenC 17:03, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If DRV has a strong consensus that the correct closure for some deletion discussion is "No Consensus", that's certainly not a controversial closure. As such, such a closure can be done and implemented by a non-admin. The DRV closure doesn't actually judge the original thread, only its DRV discussion. Animal lover |666| 17:35, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with GreenC. Controversial discussions and discussions which do not reach consensus are overlapping sets but neither is a subset of the other. There are XfDs where it is clear to anybody with experience of Wikipedia that there is no and will be no consensus, there is no and should be no requirement to be an admin to close those discussions (the first example of a discussion that would clearly be suitable for a no-consensus NAC was Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Réseau Art Nouveau Network). Thryduulf (talk) 19:14, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I just want to throw out there that we really should have a category for trusted non-admin editors for discussion closures. There are editors with tremendous experience and a solid and well-demonstrated grasp of policies and procedures who for whatever reason have never become admins, and whose discussion closures should be given more consideration than relative newbies first experimenting with closures. BD2412 T 20:58, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Frivolous filings at DRV[edit]

Sometimes a filing at Deletion Review is frivolous because it does not identify any issue with the close or any error, and does not identify circumstances that have changed. Occasionally a request for Deletion Review misstates the facts. In one recent case, for instance, the appellant stated that there was only one Delete !vote, when there were three. Some of the editors have wondered whether there is some alternative to having such filings open for a week of discussion. Should there be a provision for Speedy Endorse, comparable to Speedy Keep 1 and Speedy Keep 3 at AFD? Robert McClenon (talk) 05:18, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Sure why not. If the nom doesn't like it, they can start a new DRV with the problem addressed. Sometimes that gives the nom time to reconsider and refactor in a new light, and they won't follow through. Sometimes it energizes them to create a really good rationale improving their chances of success. Either way it's helpful. And risky for whoever issues the Speedy. The speedy has to be done before too many people engage otherwise it will alienate and irritate the participants whose thoughtful comments are buried. -- GreenC 17:16, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes. "Speedy Endorse" should be allowed in situations parallel to any Speedy Keep rationale; as with Speedy Keep closures, they address the DRV discussion and not the underlying XFD discussion, and as such are no prejudice closures if the new discussion doesn't have the same issue. Animal lover |666| 17:40, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with GreenC and Animal Lover. Although if other editors have also identified issues with the XfD close despite the inadequate nomination then a speedy close of the DRV is unlikely to be appropriate. Thryduulf (talk) 18:54, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
A user could create a DRV discussion on an inappropriate closure without expressing adequate justification, or while banned from the topic of the underlying article, each of these would be a speedy endorse if caught by someone who supports, or has no opinion on, the original closure. (Someone who supports it could give a justification in the first case, or merely support changing the closure in the second, and prevent any speedy endorse.) Animal lover |666| 05:44, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Most of these, in my experience, are already speedy-closable per WP:DRVPURPOSE #8, including your motivating example. We, insanely, don't enforce that. Why would you think that, if we added another similar rule, about statements that are less obviously made in bad faith, that we'd enforce it any more consistently? —Cryptic 10:56, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Of course we allow speedy closes. Maybe they've just gone out of style since I was active there? See for a list of speedy closes I've done at DRV. RoySmith (talk) 14:52, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Moved to WT:Deletion Review

It should be Speedy Close[edit]

Thank you for your comments. It occurs to me, based on further reviewing at DRV, that the provision should not be called Speedy Endorse, but Speedy Close, because some of the DRV's that should be closed in this manner are not really endorses because they are not really deletion reviews, but mistaken filings. There is one today which appears, after machine-translation from Romanian, to be about the deletion of an article in the Romanian Wikipedia. I have also seen Deletion Review requests where the nominator wanted to delete an article, and thought that a deletion review discussed whether to delete the article. So I think that I will take this discussion to the DRV talk page to try to discuss the wording of criteria for Speedy Closes at DRV, which will then probably be followed by an RFC. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:47, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Should DRV be semi-protected?[edit]

I have one more policy idea about Deletion Review. Should Deletion Review, and its daily subpages, be semi-protected? I have occasionally seen Deletion Reviews started by unregistered editors, but I have never seen a reasonable Deletion Review initiated by an unregistered editor. Unregistered editors cannot nominate articles or miscellaneous pages for deletion because those involve creation of a subpage for the deletion discussion. They can start deletion reviews, but I see no encyclopedic purpose that requires that one be logged out or not have a valid account or not have an unblocked account in order to request deletion review. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:47, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Unless there are sufficiently many bad filings by new and unregistered users that they are disruptive then semi-protection seems like a solution in search of a problem. Thryduulf (talk) 08:17, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
While reasonable drvs initiated by ips and non-autoconfirmed users are rare, there are a handful of sensible, longtime IP contributors to DRV - I'm thinking in particular, though there are others. —Cryptic 10:46, 17 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

When should the "inspired by" section be used in an infobox?[edit]

I tried looking around but couldn't find anything on this topic. Presumably it is not intended to list every inspiration a work has, but what's the line for inclusion? Eldomtom2 (talk) 21:38, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Which infobox are you specifically concerned with? Different infoboxes may have different intended uses for that parameter. DonIago (talk) 22:05, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It depends son the infobox, it has been removed from some due to problems it can cause. The documentation for others, such as {{Infobox television}}, say to only use it if it has been explicitly credited as such, again it depends which one is used. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested «@» °∆t° 22:27, 12 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's {{Infobox television}}, but there's debate over the precise definition of "explicitly credited". Some are arguing "explicit credit" includes external confirmation by the creators of the work that they were inspired by X, even if X isn't credited in the work itself.--Eldomtom2 (talk) 13:46, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The discussion that led to the inspired_by parameter being added (2020) stipulated that it would only be in instances where an explicit "Inspired by" credit appears for a series, much like how series include "Based on" credits. Schazjmd (talk) 13:54, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think only the latter (an actual on-screen credit) would be a reasonable interpretation on the consensus in that discussion. --Ahecht (TALK
17:26, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

Access date[edit]

Recently, Jax 0677 (talk · contribs) was using {{better source needed}} on Dia Frampton to indicate that the "access date" field was anachronistic to the content being cited by the source. This is obviously not the right citation template, as it gives the implication of "we need a more reliable source than Billboard itself for Billboard charts". What would be the right template to say "anachronistic access date"? Or should you just go in and fix it yourself? Ten Pound Hammer(What did I screw up now?) 00:09, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

There are several possible unrelated causes. I sometimes see that situation when a fact is cited using a temporally-consistent cite, and then a later fact is added with no update to the cite. The first table entry is reasonable from the original access-date. It's only the second row that is anachronistic. So either the editor who added it did not look for a cite at all or did not update the access-date when they did use that ref. Looking at the ref, either it does support, in which case the solution is to update the ref, or it does not support, in which case {{failed verification}} on the specific entry. I agree that {{bsn}} is clearly the wrong tag. DMacks (talk) 00:23, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps {{update source}}? Masem (t) 00:35, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, that's the one. Safari ScribeEdits! Talk! 22:22, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

COI guidelines[edit]

When I first came on board as a Wiki editor, I thought what I was learning about COI meant that anyone with even the slightest connection to the subject of a Wiki article couldn't edit or write on that subject in Wikipedia. Now I've come to understand that it actually IS possible as long as the editor makes an official COI declaration. I'd have saved myself a few months of real concern about the fairness of this rule for a couple of topics on which I believed I could make a helpful contribution with a balanced perspective, if I'd grasped that COI doesn't automatically prohibit if disclosed. Like the disclosures that journalists make in stories to which they add "full disclosure" announcements about any connections they have to the subject that might cause assumptions of possible bias.

What I'd like to suggest to Wikipedia policymakers is that this important point about COI be made as clear as possible in all documentation about it. Then other editors — especially newbies, as I was when this issue came up for me — won't stumble around in the dark as to what they can and can't work on — at least, legitimately.

I realize that trying to ensure 100% clarity on this could be challenging, especially because a lot of what we learn about COI is not just through COI-related documentation but also through Teahouse and Help Desk discussions. Still, senior editors can probably think of many ways to make sure the distinction between a flat "NO, you can never" and "YES, you can if you ALSO do X" is better highlighted across the board.

Augnablik (talk) 07:06, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

It does seem like many new good-faith editors are very concerned about potential COI to a degree that is qualitatively more extreme than the norm among experienced editors. Of course, there are also many new, potentially good-faith editors seem not to feel any concern regarding COI whatsoever—though I cannot honestly characterize this side of the equation as anything but a comparative lack of familiarity with the guideline on average. Let's take a look at the current verbiage of WP:COI and see if there's something we can rewrite to better reflect the actual norms. Here's the first paragraph:

Conflict of interest (COI) editing involves contributing to Wikipedia about yourself, family, friends, clients, employers, or your financial and other relationships. Any external relationship can trigger a conflict of interest. Someone having a conflict of interest is a description of a situation, not a judgment about that person's opinions, integrity, or good faith.

Emphasis mine. This is tricky: the entire lead seems to define COI as automatically existing to a maximal logical extent. Nowhere does the lead nuance that most people can successfully edit about things they have particular interests in—in short, the lead does not adequately communicate that there can be interests without conflicts of interest.
I understand why this is: we don't want bad faith COI editors feeling emboldened by our nuance to push POV, or using it as a rhetorical shield when called out. But I still feel the lead should probably have at least one sentence explicating that (unpaid) COI only arises when one is personally unwilling or unable to edit according to site norms like they would on another topic. COI shouldn't be implied to be as total or even subconscious like it is in the lead as written. Remsense 07:53, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you, @Remsense. Just having acknowledgment by a senior editor as to the validity of the issue — regardless of the eventual outcome — feels so nice and warm and fuzzy that I’ll just lie back and bask in it awhile … 🏖️ Augnablik (talk) 08:50, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Why would people understand "external relationships" to encompass interests in the first place? – Joe (talk) 11:13, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
It's simply a bit of a sticky phrase: it seems easy for nervous minds to give it a very broad definition. But I also understand how it's difficult to rephrase without making easier for bad-faith editors to argue around. Remsense 11:15, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Presumably working backwards as all "interests" are the result of external relationships of some kind. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:08, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Just to clarify something that's come up in a few of your recent posts, Augnablik: there are no "senior editors", working groups, or policymakers here. Our policies and guidelines can be edited by anyone, just like every other page, and aim to reflect the consensus of all editors.
On COI, I actually think your first understanding was correct. As always there are a range of opinions on the subject, but in general the community does not want you to edit topics on which you have a COI. That is why the nutshell summary of WP:COI is do not edit Wikipedia in your own interests, nor in the interests of your external relationships and the first sentence, after defining what it is, reads COI editing is strongly discouraged on Wikipedia. However, Wikipedia has no firm rules (there are no "you can nevers"), so it's impossible for us to complete forbid it. Hence the procedures for disclosed COI editing; they're there for those who insist on not following the clear instruction at the top of the page (do not edit). They exist, but that doesn't necessarily mean we want to highlight them. – Joe (talk) 11:10, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Joe, I think it's more complicated than that. First, I'll take the sentence Remsense highlighted, and highlight it in a different way: Any external relationship can trigger a conflict of interest – but just because it can doesn't mean that it will.
Second, consider what the OP says: anyone with even the slightest connection to the subject. What's "the slightest connection"? If you take a train to work, do you have at least "the slightest connection" to Commuter rail? To the specific transit agency? Only to the specific line you take?
I think most editors would say that isn't an "external relationship" at all, though I have had one editor claim that nobody should edit the articles about the towns where they were born, lived, etc., because (in that editor's opinion) it's possible to have a relationship with an inanimate object. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:00, 13 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
@Joe Roe, this is something far from what I thought was COI. Firstly, I am still seeing that "slightest connection" as something else. Initially, COI should be editing people you know and not things you know. Okay, IMO, does editing someone/something you know and have seen a COI. Safari ScribeEdits! Talk! 22:30, 14 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I'm literally just quoting the guideline. Slightest connection is Augnablik's wording, not mine. – Joe (talk) 08:11, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, “slightest connection” is @WhatamIdoing‘s wording. Augnablik (talk) 12:15, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No, "slightest connection" is from the very first sentence of this thread: I thought what I was learning about COI meant that anyone with even the slightest connection to the subject. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:35, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I would say my point is that one can take different emphases away from the lead as written. I think an explicit statement, perhaps a single sentence, which delimits the scope would go a long way to narrow this potential interpretive gap. It's hard to feel because we know what this verbiage means in practice, but it's very plausible to me that a chunk of new editors—those of a nervous disposition, if you like—come away fearing for their own ability to edit neutrally, worried about COI in situations where others generally don't have problems. They simply don't have enough experience yet to know that. Remsense 08:30, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Beside “those of a nervous disposition” who might be “worried about COI in situations where others generally don’t have problems,” add those of us still somewhat wet behind the ears who’ve now read many Teahouse COI-related exchanges in which the point was driven home about fates like banishment awaiting us if we stray outside the pale. Augnablik (talk) 12:35, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I intended my characterization as broadly and neutrally as possible, apologies if that doesn't get across. Remsense 12:53, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Perhaps what would be most helpful is if the Teahouse regulars didn't try to (over)simplify the COI rules.
Part of our problem is that the rules are taught by telephone game, with each person in the chain simplifying it just a little more, and making it sound just a little stronger, until the story ends up being a false caricature of the real rules. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:38, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If this is in direct response to me, I‘ll try my best to offer better advice in the future. Remsense 16:41, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I've no idea who is taking care of the Teahouse these days. I doubt that anyone in this discussion is the primary source of this problem (though perhaps we should all do our best to improve in this and all other areas). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:07, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I think WP:COI has a significant weak point, specifically the sentence: How close the relationship needs to be before it becomes a concern on Wikipedia is governed by common sense. Because a COI is about the existence of a relationship and not the editor's actual ability to edit without bias, there is no obvious or common way to tell what degree of closeness triggers it. It's inherently arbitrary where that line is drawn. The result of that ambiguity is that some conscientious editors may be unnecessarily excluding themselves from broad swaths of articles where they could productively edit based on a trivial personal connection.--Trystan (talk) 14:00, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
We've also seen in recent discussions that different long-established editors editing in good faith can have very different interpretations of where the line should be drawn. Thryduulf (talk) 15:03, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, this has beeen an eye-opener for me as a still-newish editor … and the writer of the post that started off this thread. It hadn’t occurred to me that “different long-established editors editing in good faith” — those in position to make judgments about COI infractions by their less long-established brethren — might be using somewhat different measuring tapes.
The outcome of this thread is very important to me, as I’ll shortly have to make a self-applied COI label for an article I’ll be submitting, and I want to get everything as straight as I can about COI before then.
Thank you to everyone who’s added insights to this discussion. I hope it brings about the clarity we need. Augnablik (talk) 19:57, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Stick around long enough, and you will find that “long-established editors editing in good faith” can (and do) disagree on how to interpret almost all of our policies and guidelines. We (usually) agree on the essence of P&G, but the nuances? Not so much. But that’s OK. Blueboar (talk) 21:36, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If an editor does not think they should edit because of COI, that's fine. As with most everything here, we rely on their judgement, all the time, and if they have a question about it, they can ask in multiple places, as with everything else. This is not the most difficult judgement they will face here. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:00, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
To be fair if their edits are entirely appropriate the COI will almost certainly never be identified... We generally only identify COI by first identifying problematic editing and then ending on COI as the most likely explanation for them, in cases where its genuinely not disruptive nobody notices. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:16, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Doesn't that suggest that the COI analysis is largely irrelevant? If my editing of Famous Author's biography is problematic, does it matter whether it is because I am her sister (COI) or just a devoted fan (no COI, just ordinary bias)?--Trystan (talk) 17:47, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Yes the vast majority of the time the COI analysis is largely irrelevant. Also fans have a COI (its an external relationship like any other), just normally one below the common sense threshold. Superfans or similar though do have a serious COI and we have big issues with them. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:52, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I wouldn't say a fan of any sort has a close relationship with the subject within the meaning of COI. They may have a metric tonne of bias, but per WP:COINOTBIAS, the presence or absence of actual bias is irrelevant to whether a COI relationship exists.--Trystan (talk) 20:46, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The President of the Jimmie SingsGood Fanclub has a massive COI in regards to Jimmie SingsGood and you can work down from there, also note that the relationship doesn't have to be close to trigger a COI... The standard here is common sense. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 20:51, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How close the relationship needs to be before it becomes a concern on Wikipedia is governed by common sense. Common sense (allegedly) determines whether the closeness of the relationship is problematic, so closeness is inherently important. I could see a fan club president having a COI, but only by virtue of holding that specific role.--Trystan (talk) 21:10, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Any level of fandom which effects their ability to edit the topic dispassionately is too close, we're supposed to be editors not advocates. Thats the problem with self policing COI... If it is a genuine COI then the person will be incapable of recognizing whether or not their edits are neutral. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 05:17, 16 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
You're on the right track, but its not so much irrelevant as a different and generally harder inquiry for a person to undertake about themselves, not 'do I have a defined relationship', but the more self-searching and self knowing inquiry of something like, 'am I able to separate here from my bias, or is it too much to be me to be fair.' (I think many editors avoid topics, at least to an extensive level, where they know they have no desire to be unbiased in their writing about it, or they think they cannot, but they have to know themselves on that, not something like an external relationship). -- Alanscottwalker (talk) 21:16, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That is very much how I approach my own editing, and identifying when I should step back from a topic. But that is fundamentally about applying WP:NPOV. I am not able to reconcile that self-reflective approach with WP:COINOTBIAS, which explicitly clarifies that a COI exists where a relationship exists, irrespective of the editor’s bias, state of mind, or integrity.--Trystan (talk) 21:48, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
That's it, it's a different inquiry, as that part says though, they may have some overlap. --Alanscottwalker (talk) 22:01, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
No. Because the best, most effective, and often only thing between good and the abyss is you, just you alone, so you have got to, got to do the consideration, you're the only one there is. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:52, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Correct. What matters is whether your edits are problematic, not why they are (or aren't). Thryduulf (talk) 18:57, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

If you want to follow this literally, if you are a human being, and edit any article about human beings, be sure to declare your COI.  :-) We really need to calibrate this to acknowledge the widely varying degrees of strength of COI. Also to fix how this is often usable/used in a McCarthy-esqe way. North8000 (talk) 17:03, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]

If you do not want to not exercize judgement, this is just a rough place to be. COI is certainly easier to navigate and involves a ton less work than NPOV, to anyone who takes NPOV seriously. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:12, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Indeed, it is difficult to be a new editor. I do not see why this means we can't try to help them. Remsense 17:14, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Best not to assume new editors are helpless. How demeaning that would be. Some need no help, and others should ask. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:19, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If it has the appearance of a conflict, it probably is a conflict. Selfstudier (talk) 17:04, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
If that were truly the case, we wouldn't need the policy. Remsense 17:05, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Still need the policy, but that criteria always works in edge cases. Selfstudier (talk) 17:08, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
I don't know about you, but no one I've ever met is able to reliably tell when something is pornography. Ever. Remsense 17:17, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
How is that a COI? Selfstudier (talk) 17:22, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Its a Jacobellis v. Ohio reference to the fuzziness of the "I know it when I see it" standard. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 17:25, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, that's an oblique reference as regards the "if it looks like X, then it probably is" device. Remsense 17:26, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Ah, I see now. Just when it was getting interesting :) Selfstudier (talk) 17:33, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Except what has "the appearance of a conflict" to one editor can be completely different to what has "the appearance of a conflict" to another editor, even if they are both very experienced - let alone to those who aren't. Thryduulf (talk) 17:06, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
As per above, I am talking about the point where the line is drawn (because it isn't). Selfstudier (talk) 17:10, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
The point where the line is drawn needs to be clear to new and old editors alike, determining the point based on vague phrases that not even all regulars can agree on is actively unhelpful. Thryduulf (talk) 17:13, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Let me know when it is drawn, and good luck with that. Selfstudier (talk) 17:15, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Oh many people would draw the lines in roughly the same place and they would do it quickly too, but in the end if they have empathy they should probably say, if you are still in significant doubt stay away, you don't need that, do other stuff. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:24, 15 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]
Especially for controversial subjects (not all of which are WP:CTOPS), there is an unfortunate pattern of "any edit that doesn't push my POV is motivated by COI". I don't think there's ever going to be an easy agreement here. On the one hand, we ha