Ok, I'm not trying to argue here, but you say it's crystal clear, and it's
On 3/3/06, slimvirgin(a)gmail.com <slimvirgin(a)gmail.com> wrote:
1. Articles should contain only material that has been
What does should mean? "Must"? "Should in an ideal world, but that's
ok, we're in beta"? Are we talking about the Wikipedia ideal, or the
minimum standard for inclusion in Wikipedia at the moment.
Also, we've had numerous examples of material which has never been
published by reputable sources, but are agreed by consensus as being
acceptable. Information about various websites, for example. Is this
in violation of the policy?
2. Editors adding new material to an article should
cite a reputable
source, or it may be removed by any editor.
Should again. But also, as discussed, "may". As everyone knows, anyone
"may" make any edit they like, so what is this really saying? Is it
saying that no one should have any qualms whatsoever about removing
any uncited material? Or is it simply a warning against adding new
Also, as it stands, this only covers "new material". What about
unsourced existing material? "May" any editor remove that too?
3. The obligation to provide a reputable source lies
with the editors
wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it.
Editors have obligations now? This line is definitely against the
Wikipedia spirit - instead of all working together to achieve
something, this line makes it sounds like we're at cross purposes, so
if we want to get our own way in the face of opposition, there are
certain hoops to jump through.
There's no "crud," as you put it, and
it's crystal clear.
The section on verifiability vs truth is very wordy. But here's a
better example of crud:
Anyone can create a website or pay to have a book published, and then
claim to be an expert in a certain field. For that reason,
self-published books, personal websites, and blogs are largely not
acceptable as sources. Exceptions may be when a well-known,
professional researcher in a relevant field, or a well-known
professional journalist, has produced self-published material. In some
cases, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as their work has
been previously published by credible, third-party publications.
However, exercise caution: if the information on the professional
researcher's blog is really worth reporting, someone else will have
What is this saying? "You can cite a dodgy source as long as a better
source exists". How would you know if the better source exists? Why
not just cite that? What if another editor doesn't believe that a
better source exists? It seems to me that if a better source exists,
you haven't achieved much by citing a dodgy source - so why bother
with this exception?
There are other problems with the policy as it stands, however. Examples:
- A reputable source publishes something in error (and later retracts
it). What then?
- A source is cited, but does not support the claim made.
- A made-up source is cited - how to handle this situation?
In short, the policy very wordily attempts to define the notion of
"verifiability" and gives examples of clear-cut situations of
verifiable and unverifiable information, but doesn't give much help in
applying this approach to everyday Wikipedia daily live, and doesn't
help sort out borderline or unusual cases at all.