[WikiEN-l] NPOV majorities/minorities

charles matthews charles.r.matthews at ntlworld.com
Tue May 2 16:41:20 UTC 2006

 "Cheney Shill" wrote

>This regards Undue weight part of NPOV:

>There still seems to be a great deal of ambiguity, even among admins, as to 
>what qualifies as a majority.  So here's a simple example to evaluate as a 
>starting point.

*View Moo has 3 sources that support it.
*View Bark has 15 sources that support it.

>Which has the majority?  Should either be be dropped completely?  Should 
>either be reduced to a footnote or an "other views" section deeper within 
>the article? Again, for simplicity, all the sources are equally reliable, 
>reputable, and prominent.

>Other than all or most of the sources of either being non-notable or 
>biased, are there any circumstances in which you would reverse the 
>majority/minority or consider Moo and Bark equal?

I think, given two or more 'respectable' views on a topic, one tries to 
write the article in such a way as to leave the reader all the 
decision-making. That, after all, is the aim of NPOV writing.  In cases 
where that seems difficult by just alternating two sides of an argument, 
there is probably some work to do in the composition of the article.  If you 
like, simple 'debate' can be rather too transparent a structure, for the 
sort of situation you outline.  Selection and arrangement of sources need to 
do _more_ than just create some sort of verbal balance: it has to embody a 
fair-minded approach also.


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