Wikipedia talk:What Wikipedia is not

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Album notability and release date[edit]

Discussion on Wikipedia_talk:Notability_(music)#Notability_of_albums_-_at_what_time_is_an_album_notable? Please bring in your comments. AngusW🐶🐶F (barksniff) 00:44, 4 March 2021 (UTC)

discussion relating to not a directory/not a webhost[edit]

There is a discussion at Talk:Colab concerning the inclusion of extensive list of members. Articles having extensive listing of names based on primary sources and dependent sources. There are many articles about organizations, art galleries and where such is common and I believe this discussion would help establish a balance between encyclopedic vs web hosting/social media. Graywalls (talk) 16:34, 8 March 2021 (UTC)


I created a new WP:NNP redirect that is shorter yet more specific that WP:NOTNEWS, which both point to Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a newspaper. NOTNEWS is confusing and often misused to imply that things that are in the news are not suitable for inclusion by default, which is in direct conflict with what the guideline actually says: "Editors are encouraged to include current and up-to-date information within its coverage" and "While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information." So the fact that something was in the news does not imply that it should or should not be included. The problem is that NEWS is used as an abbreviation for NEWSPAPER, which leads editors to jump to incorrect conclusions, both when they use this shortcut and when they see it used. I think the NOTNEWS shortcut should be depreciated in favor of NNP to avoid confusion, because that will force editors to actually click on the link to see what it says, and then they may remember that it refers to newspaper like content, not content that was in the news. But I realize consensus on that change may be slow to develop.

I saw in the edit history that several shortcuts were removed recently and considered that before including a new one. I think it is useful to have NNP up in the shortcut box to introduce its use while we discuss it here on the talk page. So I am going to revert the removal and direct editors here in the edit summary. Dhaluza (talk) 20:33, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

  • WP:NNP is neither clear nor catchy. I reckon the entry should be deprecated altogether as it is clearly not followed. We have a section on the mainpage, WP:ITN, which is devoted to highlighting things in the news. And even if items are not included there, you can be sure that editors are updating articles in realtime as the news is reported. For example, the big celebrity news story for the last week has been the British royal family following the Oprah interview. When I checked, I found that articles about the various members of the family dominated the top-read articles. Checking again, yesterday's top 10 is:
  1. Death of Sarah Everard (584 revisions since 2021-03-10 (+9 minutes), 92 editors, 43 watchers, 207,316 pageviews)
  2. Elizabeth II
  3. Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
  4. Jennifer Lopez
  5. Murray Walker
  6. Diana, Princess of Wales
  7. Dunblane massacre
  8. Bible
  9. Soleil Moon Frye
  10. Deaths in 2021
About the only entry there that is encyclopedic rather than newsy is Bible. Dunblane happened 25 years ago but is in the news because of anniversary commemorations. Claiming that Wikipedia doesn't follow and cover the news is blatantly false and so we should not pretend that it's policy. The real policy is that we don't do original reportage and that is amply covered by WP:OR.
Andrew🐉(talk) 22:30, 14 March 2021 (UTC)
We had a rather recent (2-3 years) RFC on whether we should expand or reduce NOT#NEWS, with the result that there should be no change either way. We can cover new information that appears in the news that should be added to existing articles (such as Murray Walker, a recent death, who is then covered in the Deaths article); but what we should be cautioned against is creating new articles on every new event, or trying to include every new piece of information reported by the news that may be relevant to the topic. That all still falls under NOT#NEWS, and all of what you see is 100% within policy without touching NOT#NEWS. --Masem (t) 00:07, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • WP:NOTNEWS serves a very valid purpose, as it combines several clear community norms under one umbrella. I don't reckon it needs to be changed. I also think there's a misunderstanding here. WP:NOTNEWS does not prohibit us from reporting on current events. WP:NOTNEWS also gets used on a daily basis in deletion discussions as an indicator of whether events have received only routine coverage when determining notability (see: While news coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion and Wikipedia is not written in news style. In addition to writing in encyclopedic tone, events must be put into encyclopedic context. For example, routine news reporting of announcements, sports, or celebrities is not a sufficient basis for inclusion in the encyclopedia.) Put more easily, it correctly discourages people from creating articles on recent news. In terms of creating the new shortcut, not only are we deprecating most shortcuts, but this shortcut isn't obvious at all. SportingFlyer T·C 23:51, 14 March 2021 (UTC)

Responding to no one in particular, I am not seeking to change consensus on Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not#Wikipedia is not a newspaper. I agree that editors who want to cover breaking news as news should contribute to Wikinews. But many readers come to Wikipedia to lookup current topics in the news to help them understand those topics in a greater context (including myself). So a bias for or against subjects in news coverage does not serve those readers well, and therefore does not benefit the project either. We don't want frivolous, sensationalistic, or other non-substantive coverage to dominate articles, but we also don't want outdated, missing, or incomplete coverage of topics of interest to readers. I think it's important to consider the first impression Wikipedia makes on new users, because you don't get a second chance to make a first impression.

Again, WP:NOTNEWS as a shortcut is confusing and often misused to imply that things that are in the news are not suitable for inclusion by default, which is in direct conflict with what the guideline actually says: "Editors are encouraged to include current and up-to-date information within its coverage" and "While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information." I believe this is correct--there should be no bias for or against including content in the news (obviously caution is required per WP:RS, and extra caution is required for breaking news coverage). The basic problem with NOTNEWS is that "news" it is used as an abbreviation for "newspaper," which is not normal usage. "News" generally applies to overall media coverage, not newspaper style writing, which is what this guideline section is talking about.

So I think WP:NOTNEWS should be depreciated in favor of something that is not confusing, ambiguous or even misleading. So I think we need to get a better shortcut. WP:NN links to the Notability guideline, presumably as shorthand for "not-notable." We could use WP:!NP. Maybe there are better ideas that I am missing.

Dhaluza (talk) 02:27, 15 March 2021 (UTC)

For one thing, we try to avoid alphabet-soup labels, so introducing a potential confusing abbreviation or initialism that is already close to at least two other policies (Notabiity and New Page Patrol) would not be smart.
But NOT#NEWS needs to be read more than "WP is not just a newspaper"; WP is just simply not a news outlet. There are some facts about not being a newspaper (print style) that we have to be aware of, but also as not being a general news outlet, we have to alert to being able to be current on existing topics but careful on new topics.
We expect editors when new and seeing these shortruns to read and understand them. If editors are jumping to conclusions that "NOT#NEWS" means we can't include breaking news that is otherwise factual details we'd included (such as the results of the Grammys that happened tonight), they're making big assumptions and failing do take steps we expect them to learn as editors. This wouldn't be resolved using any different shortcut. --Masem (t) 03:16, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
Again, I think the NOTNEWS shortcut as commonly misread is the problem, not the "Wikipedia is not a Newspaper" guideline section as written. If using a shorter shortcut is not a good solution, depreciating the NOTNEWS version in favor of NOTNEWSPAPER would be the other alternative. It sounds like you would be in favor of depreciating NOTNEWSPAPER in favor of NOTNEWSOUTLET, which may actually be more generally applicable since most editors probably don't read actual dead tree newsprint. But that would take some movement of the guideline. I'm just trying to work with what we have now. Dhaluza (talk) 23:18, 16 March 2021 (UTC)
But it's just about not being a news outlet, which describes the format/approach we take of news, but about how we incorporate news in broad terms, NOT#NEWS is short and remains the best simple shortcut. Again, if people are just reading the shortcut and not the language behind it, that's not a problem with the shortcut, but with editors. --Masem (t) 00:07, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
Actually it says, "news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information" so we should treat news like any other content--there are no special rules for news, so it should not be singled out. The problem with the shortcut is it is often used to argue that news should be treated differently. Dhaluza (talk) 00:58, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Let's read WP:NOTNEWS again: "routine news reporting of announcements, sports, or celebrities is not a sufficient basis for inclusion in the encyclopedia". Now look at the main page's In the News where the current issue is whether to lead with a picture of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish or Novak Djokovic. This is routine celebrity/sports news – exactly the same sort of stuff you'd find in People magazine or the tabloids. This supposed policy is a farce. Andrew🐉(talk) 10:41, 15 March 2021 (UTC)
  • Exactly. Sure, People magazine will likely cover the Grammys but will probably have more focus on the "red carpet" part rather than the awards themselves, and that's the more routine part that we ignore. Or more in general w/ relationship to music

Well, WP:NOTNEWS does serve a purpose. The purpose is for people to say "I don't think that we should cover recent events, or at any rate be real conservative in doing so." Citing a rule looks more impressive than just stating that as an opinion, and is more succinct too.

It is true that the body of the rule says no such thing. It says "breaking news should not be emphasized", that is, we shouldn't be like "Keep, doesn't meet WP:GNG but it's current and so people want to read about it so let's make an exception."

But that's OK. It's certainly far from the only rule where people mostly just read the title. A lot of people don't think we should much have articles on very recent events (not unreasonable), and WP:NOTNEWS is a service to them. These people are never going to let you delete or deprecate the shortcut WP:NEWS, so don't worry about it. It's not going to happen.

So the funny thing is...

  1. We don't have a rule against articles on recent events.
  2. But a lot of people think we should.
  3. And so they point to WP:NOTNEWS as if it was a rule against having articles on recent events.
  4. And so in actual practice the shortcut WP:NOTNEWS (not the text of what it points to, but just the name of the shortcut itself) is generally accepted as demonstrating a rule against having articles on recent events.
  5. And a lot of people accept this. They believe that there is such a rule.
  6. And after all rules are supposed to just codify practice. And since it's practice to believe that WP:NOTNEWS is -- or anyway points to -- such a rule, it does. It does. WP:NOTNEWS (again, not the text of what it points to, but just the name of the shortcut itself) is a valid rule.


Ideally, we'd codify this in a different rule -- WP:NOTRECENTEVENTS or something. But the days of making major new rules is probably over, so we have to go with what we have.

WP:NOTNEWSPAPER (the actual text) has little real function, no. It's almost entirely disposable. The main thing it prescribes is doing our own reporting -- if the Merchandise Mart blows up, don't start an article Explosion of the Merchandise Mart and source it to "I saw it myself, just now". But we're not going to do that anyway. We're not going to include today's sports scores anyway, or have an article listing each day's activity by Justin Beiber, or obituaries of private citizens. Or for that matter publish comics or horoscopes or be used to wrap fish. WP:NOTNEWSPAPER is mostly just excess verbiage, but it's not hurting anybody and it's not going to change. Herostratus (talk) 04:52, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

  • Under NOT#NEWS, the second bullet is exactly the statement that WP cautions against articles on recent events. This is more expanded in the notability guideline WP:NEVENT but just limited to NOT#NEWS, it does say, not exatly as you speak, that articles on breaking news are not recommended unless we know their enduring coverage will be assured. So yes, NOT#NEWS does effectively say this. --Masem (t) 13:14, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
Well, but doesn't say "assured". It says "considered". Those are different words. Also what you wish the rule said and what it actually says are different things. In fact the rule contradicts itself, and also is vague and weasally -- like many of our rules, which after all are written by committees. Let's see what it really says...

Wikipedia considers the enduring notability of persons and events. While news coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics, most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion and Wikipedia is not written in news style. While including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate, breaking news should not be emphasized or otherwise treated differently from other information.

"Breaking news should not be treated differently from other information." I mean, I'm not sure how the rule could be clearer that breaking news should not be, you know, treated differently from other information? Specifically, we should not go out out of way to emphasize it because it is breaking news. Well I think most of us agree on that so that's not an issue.

most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion

Well of course most newsworthy events don't qualify for inclusion. Who thinks that? Look at the newsowrthy events front page of your newspaper: most newsworthy events are like "Seven car pileup on I-270"; "Mayor announces new Director of Public Information"; "Nonprofits that work with homeless want a better seat at the table with the next mayor of Boston"; "Sommerville School District removes 'thin blue line' from high school baseball caps"; "Prospect Pivots: Red Sox slugger Cotatie seizes first opportunity to make second impression" and so on.
It's fine to prescribe articles about these events, and should be done. But nobody makes articles like that and if they did they would be swatted down regardless of any rule. It's OK to have that rule, but it's not a problem and not what we're talking about here.

including information on recent developments is sometimes appropriate... news coverage can be useful source material for encyclopedic topics

It's sometimes appropriate, and presumably sometimes not. It sometimes can be, and presumably sometimes can't. What is "sometimes"? What is "can be"? I dunno -- doesn't say. It's up to the individual editor what they think. But I mean "Article clearly meets the GNG" could certainly be considered to be within the "sometime" and "can be" umbrella to include, since the GNG is the generally accepted guideline for determining if an article should exist. Granted, just a guideline, but an important one and generally accepted for most articles.

Wikipedia considers the enduring notability of persons and events

Well yes of course. We consider a lot of things, and should. We consider whether an article meets the GNG or an SNG, whether it's so poor it'd be better to burn it down and start over, whether its inherently a BLP violation, whether it's basically plagiarism, whether it's a commercial promotion. I don't think "but this is ephemary" would be met by "well be shouldn't and don't consider that". So, it's fine to state it, but it's not contentious and not what we're talking about here.
What we really want here is WP:NOTEPHEMERAL. Most everyone would agree with that. Most everyone agrees that "Seven car pileup on I-270" is ephemeral and shouldn't have an article.
Of course we have to guess what is likely to be ephemeral. Thirty years ago, George Bush had a case of acute gastroenteritis, fainted, and puked on the Japanese Prime Minister. They had a news conference the next day it was brushed aside, not a diplomatic problem.
Ephemeral? George H. W. Bush vomiting incident... 30 years later it gets 350 views a day. You want to deny those 350 people access to that info? Jimmy Carter rabbit incident... half a century ago, 388 views a day. Tractorcade, 25 daily views. There are a lot of articles about train crashes 100 years and stuff that get very few views. But those aren't current news and so they aren't covered here.
So anyway, to boil down the rule, it is "Here's a rule. It is vague and in places self-contradictory, so can be interpreted in a number of ways, and so it's not really very useful. Use your best judgement and best guesstimate of what is going to be ephemeral when forming your opinion about coverage of recent events."
Yeah a person can say "No, it can't be interpeted in a number of ways. It can only be interpreted the way I do, period." You do get that sometimes. It doesn't usually convince very many people. Herostratus (talk) 15:52, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
If you are going to write a WP article, day one of a breaking news event, it is absolutely a skill of art to know if that is going to have the enduring coverage in the future. We have too many editors that don't have this skill and as a result , we actually do have a lot of cruft articles on local accidents and crimes that were created within the day or two of the event but had no major coverage since. For most editors, if you don't know if an event is going to be notable or not, the best thing is to wait - or write it up at Wikinews which is exactly set up to be a wiki-sourced newspaper, from which we can promote to articles if the event is notable.
There are enough editors with the experience to know when an event is going to become enduring within hours of it happening, such as the Jan 6 Capitol riots, or when a passenger plane crashes. But these editors are few and far between, most new editors don't have that wisdom, and that's what we're trying to caution to. --Masem (t) 16:12, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
"The best thing to is wait" is an opinion. It's a reasonable opinion, but it's not one that I share. I'm for striking while the iron is hot because people come here looking for well-summarized NPOV into on major recent events -- they just do is all, and they're not likely to stop, and there's nothing you can do about it. I'm not for (in effect) telling these people to go pound sand. Even for an article that has long-term value, the most value its ever going to have -- the highest daily pageview rate -- is sometimes the first few days or weeks. Why throw away that value. Again: my opinion, your opinion. There's no rule that says "the best thing to do is wait [or: not wait]"
Buuuuut... if an article its cruft (that's not a very well-defined or NPOV word, so let's say ephemera)... then this rule militates against that, does it not? It does say "most newsworthy events do not qualify for inclusion" and "Wikipedia considers the enduring notability of persons and events". That should be sufficient to quash and articles on local accidents and crimes. Is that not working?
If as you say we actually do have a lot of emphemera articles on local accidents and crimes that were created within the day or two of the event but had no major coverage since, and they're not being deleted -- well, this rule is not doing its job. But that's a different problem. altogether.
If we have a lot of emphemera articles created on local accidents and crimes that were created within the day or two of the event but had no major coverage since and those are deleted per this rule when discovered well that's fine. The rule is working as intended, so no problem there.
It's probably new editors making these articles, but new editors also make articles that are BLP violations or advertising or copyvio or that don't meet the GNG. That's why AfD is so busy. If there's a way to prevent these articles -- and also articles about ephemera -- from being created in the first place, that'd be great and save time. We could have stricter article-creation rules but that's not likely to happen. All I can think of is adding a criteria to WP:CSD, "incontrovertibly ephemera". That'd be OK as long it was used correctly... for articles that would be deleted by 13-0 if taken to AfD and like that... but it'd be a tricky and risky criteria, since its kind of substituting the guesstimate of two people for that of a whole AfD group. I suppose for a deletionist that'd be a feature tho. It's something you might maybe be able to get thru... maybe it'd be worth an effort.
I mean basically nobody has a problem with deleting articles about two people shot in a robbery. What people do have a problem with is articles like Trump orb being deleted (which it was). This is self-evidently not ephemera (as a matter of fact since the article was written I see major articles entirely about the entity in The Atlantic (2019) and Business Insider (2020) and the Wall Street Journal (2020) and mentions in other recent articles in notable publications. I think it's pretty clear that this is something that researchers and other people are going to want to look at 20 and probably 100 years from now.
Why was the article about this highly notable event deleted? Well I'm pretty sure that real reason is mainly is that a lot of people don't care to read articles like that, particularly about Donald Trump doing this or that (it is wearying), and don't think that other people should be allowed to either. That's fine I guess (not really, but it is what it is), because ultimately we're a community-based and not rule-based entity (except for a few core constitutional rules). The problem is "I personally don't care for the article" doesn't win over a lot of people, and importantly isn't going to win over the AfD closer. So, naturally, people are like "Delete per important rule -- it's a policy actually -- WP:NOTNEWS", and that is an impressive-looking argument. Some people are like "Well yeah we have to follow policy, so I concur".
As I said, absolutely the only part of the rule that says not to have articles like that is the name of the shortcut, NOTNEWS. But its fine; it's a de facto one-word rule, and it's not going to change. I don't think its a good rule, but a lot of people do, so fine. It's a good cudgel for deletionists. They lucked out with the shortcut name, but oh well. If anyone doesn't expect political moves here, as everywhere else, you're living in la-la land. Herostratus (talk) 19:04, 17 March 2021 (UTC)
A part of the fix to this as well as wp:NPOV is either less reliance on amount of media coverage as a gauge of everything. If a President farted loudly during a press conference that is going to get a lot more media coverage and lookups later than if they gave a lengthy speech outlining their foreign policy plan for the next 4 years. North8000 (talk) 19:35, 17 March 2021 (UTC)

IMO things are working pretty well regarding the topic of this thread, including with the shortcut. As with most things, it relies on the fuzzy Wikipedia process to make it work. North8000 (talk) 19:38, 17 March 2021 (UTC)


A recent change, which I reverted, seems to steer at excluding bibliographies from Wikipedia (in contrast to e.g. WP:BIBLIOGRAPHY). Thoughts? --Francis Schonken (talk) 08:46, 23 March 2021 (UTC)

I agree that "listings of books and other publications" is too broad to be prohibited by WP:NOT (and somewhat contradicted by the final sentence of the section, "Lists of creative works in a wider context are permitted."). While I believe that we shouldn't host lists of the type "all editions of all works of Charles Dickens, including page numbers in the original serialisations", we should definitely have a Charles Dickens bibliography. There's a WikiProject Bibliographies that has a lot of relevant information. Interestingly, we used to have a shortcut WP:NOTBIBLIOGRAPHY, but it was deleted last year. —Kusma (t·c) 12:53, 23 March 2021 (UTC)
  • @RandomCanadian: this revert does not seem to be carried by consensus (see above). --Francis Schonken (talk) 07:21, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
    Oh, gosh, making a dubious point at an AfD, creating a discussion (which I was not aware of), and then using the edit summary to imply that I should have been aware of a discussion to which I was not pinged on a page which I don't watch... Anyway, the important bit, as I state, is "WITHOUT CONTEXT INFORMATION". Legitimate bibliographies and works put in context (as already said: "lists of creative works in a wider context") are of course acceptable; that was never the subject of this. The point of my edit was clarifying that the "indiscriminate collection of information" includes books and other publications when they lack this context (or when they're clearly used in a nearly promotional fashion on BLPs of dubious notability). I mean, "Excessive listings of unexplained statistics." are also not permitted, but then wo do have proper listings of explained or subject-relevant statistics (such as statistics in sports infoboxes; whether for American, (originally) British, or worldwide sports). Inclusion in the listing does not imply that such things are entirely unacceptable everywhere; it's just meant to avoid wikilawyering about such things. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 15:59, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
  • There was just a recent AfD which shows bibliographies are acceptable to include on the site. I don't really know what "without context information" means - perhaps "without contextual information?" - but I also don't see the need for this change. SportingFlyer T·C 16:09, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
    This is not and never was about bibliography articles. This was supposed to be for stuff like this and other "sales catalogue"-like listings (and well of course "selected publications" which are clearly not "selected" and for which there is no secondary sources...). The deflection from that to WP:BIBLIOGRAPHY is a straw man and entirely irrelevant to the point I was making. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 16:33, 25 March 2021 (UTC)
As RandomCanadian has explained, the original edit was not meant to "steer at" all bibliographies any more than the existing text steers at all "business alliances, clients, competitors, employees (except CEOs, supervisory directors and similar top functionaries), equipment, estates, offices, store locations, products and services, sponsors, subdivisions and tourist attractions." The problem, perhaps, is pointed out by SportingFlyer: the introductory "without context information" is less than clear. I've taken a stab at making it more meaningful. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 16:14, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
I couldn't care less what the aim was: I look at the result, which was an increase of confusion between "lists of books" (not OK, while apparently by definition a type of list without context information) and "bibliographies" (OK, while listing creative works). To all extents and purposes "bibliographies" are "lists of books". So, if intended as clarification, it was counterproductive: it made the guidance less intelligible.
The clarification attempted by Butwhatdoiknow, and reverted by me, was even more counterproductive, while using a vague "notability" qualifier, which apparently did not refer to Wikipedia's specific use of that qualifier in WP:NOTABILITY type of guidance. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:30, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
@Francis Schonken: What is your solution to the problem SportingFlyer identifies with the "without context information" phrase? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 17:50, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Please stop pinging me to a discussion where I am active. The "without context information" wording appears unproblematic and perfectly understandable to me. Even when other wordings may exist, I agree with SportingFlyer's "I ... don't see the need for this change". --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:17, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Could we possibly flip this around: stating that while lists of books and other works by creative people or companies (like film production houses or video game developers) are acceptable, the general lists of these types are discouraged, so that the change would be reasonable? --Masem (t) 17:12, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Except that this page is called "What Wikipedia is not", so the basic approach of the entire page is describing things that are no net asset to Wikipedia. If you want a listing of what is "acceptable", followed by what is "discouraged" (without being unacceptable) this is rather something for WP:What Wikipedia is, or another more appropriate guidance page formulated in "positive" wording. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:31, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
I'm saying that if you phrase it "While (specific subset of X) is acceptable, we do not accept X." is still a "negative" statement appropriate for NOT but doesn't hide the fact we do accept certain cases. The confusion by waiting until the end to explain this may be why this edit is of concern. --Masem (t) 17:40, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Still think that wouldn't work very well on this page. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:08, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

Meaning of “without context information”[edit]

The [March 27] revert edit summary raises three objections:

1. "unhelpful" Compare WP:OWNBEHAVIOR: "An editor reverts a change simply because the editor finds it "unnecessary" without claiming that the change is detrimental."
2. "see discussion at ... talk" Prior to my edit, the only discussion relevant to my change at talk was SportingFlyer's comment that they couldn't figure out the meaning of the text I changed.
3. "'notability' is a very vague concept in Wikipedia, unless when referring to WP:N, which seems not to be the case here" That is exactly the case here. What else would the text be referring to?

I will restore my edit with a link to WP:N to resolve any confusion regarding what "notability" means when used in a guideline. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 17:07, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

The same editor has now re-reverted with an edit summary with two new objections:
4. "change of policy without consensus"
The reverting editor explained "a bold edit that does not reflect consensus should not be made to a policy page." By definition, a bold edit does not reflect consensus until after it is made and not reverted. This objection makes no sense.
5. "this part of the Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not policy applies to embedded lists as well as to stand-alone lists; Wikipedia's WP:N guidance only applies to stand-alone pages (not content of pages)thus misleading in that it made it appear as if the policy doesn't apply to embedded lists"
I don't know how misleading it is inasmuch as anyone who reads WP:N carefully enough to know it does not apply to content probably has read Wikipedia:What Wikipedia is not carefully enough to know it applies to both embedded and stand-alone lists. But, having now read those two articles carefully enough, I must concede that WP:N Is technically improper. Below I will propose alternative language. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 16:45, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

An alternative solution to SportingFlyer's "I don't really know what 'without context information' means" problem:

Simple listings without context information showing encyclopedic merit.

Anyone object to this change? If so, why? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 16:49, 31 March 2021 (UTC)

Where you say "context information", don't you just mean "context", as in "Listings of information without context showing encyclopedic merit"? ("Simple" is also vague to the point of being useless.) --Bsherr (talk) 02:09, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
Frankly, "listings" probably should just be "lists". --Bsherr (talk) 02:11, 1 April 2021 (UTC)
The current version of the sentence is "Simple listings without context information." To keep things simple I left that verbiage intact. I have no objection to also making the changes you suggest. But, to keep from diverting from my proposal, I ask that you suggest them separately. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 05:35, 1 April 2021 (UTC)

Policy page[edit]

We're discussing this here, changes to the policy about this topic under discussion should not be made prior to consensus. Thanks. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:18, 27 March 2021 (UTC)

There is no such rule. Do you have a substantive objection to the change or are you status quo stonewalling? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 17:42, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
See first banner on the policy page, it contains, just as the few dozen other policy pages, "This page documents an English Wikipedia policy. [...] Changes made to it should reflect consensus." So, don't change this policy page unless your edit reflects consensus. --Francis Schonken (talk) 17:51, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Consensus can be achieved through wp:BRD. Consensus is assumed unless there is a substantive revert. Saying "no consensus" is not substantive. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 18:02, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Re. BRD: no, a bold edit that does not reflect consensus should not be made to a policy page. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:07, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Bold edits, by definition, are made without first obtaining consensus on the talk page. If you agree with that proposition then this seems to be where your statement leads:
(1) Bold editing is permitted on policy pages.
(2) Policy pages can't be edited without first establishing a consensus.
(3) Only bold edits that aren't bold edits (that is, only edits that are made after first obtaining consensus on the talk page) are allowed on policy pages.
(4) Bold editing is not permitted on policy pages.
I'm thinking that I must be misunderstanding what you are trying to say. But how? Please advise. Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 18:45, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
BRD is allowed on policy pages if you think you have a valid reason to change, but realize that describes exactly one cycle of editing and reversion - after that is the required discussion. To edit war beyond that on policy pages is not acceptable. --Masem (t) 19:50, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Additionally, I'd strongly advise against editing patterns that may be perceived as WP:GAMING on policy pages. If you have a strong conviction that an edit you want to make to the page has implicit consensus, or has a consensus for which confirmation would be no more than a formality, please go ahead an proceed. If, on the other hand, the kind of edits you're making to policy pages would by many editors on sight be perceived as having limited odds to ever garnering consensus, then proposing on the talk page might be a better approach. If your intuition on what would likely have implicit policy-level consensus is wrong a few times too often, that may be perceived as GAMING, or disrupting Wikipedia to prove a point or whatever other type of behavior that is generally rejected. Indeed, such behavior would likely hardly raise an eyebrow on a WP:ESSAY page, but for policy pages there would likely be a less lenient approach. --Francis Schonken (talk) 06:14, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
So you agree with Masem's description (above) of BRD as applied to policy pages? (I am not asking you to change your mind, I am asking you to help me understand your position.) Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 15:12, 28 March 2021 (UTC)
Again, do you have a substantive objection to the change? Butwhatdoiknow (talk) 18:02, 27 March 2021 (UTC)
Yes. See above, and the edit summary of my last revert. --Francis Schonken (talk) 18:07, 27 March 2021 (UTC)