[WikiEN-l] Criticism sections on bios of living people

Anthony DiPierro wikilegal at inbox.org
Sun May 7 14:12:08 UTC 2006

On 5/7/06, Steve Bennett <stevage at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 5/7/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:
> > Criticism should certainly be part of an article, but I've always
> > found it poor writing style to put it in its own section.
> I think it depends on the subject of the article. When talking about
> borderline dictators, for example, I find it works quite well in its
> own section. You describe the person's life, achievements, invasions
> etc, building a fairly positive image of the person. Then the
> criticism section might go "However, Bloggs has frequently been
> criticised, especially in the United States, where he is seen as a
> dictator...." As a reader, I find this style much more palatable -
> you're not caught up with the "yes he is, no he's not" all the way
> through, where every sentence has been hacked together by supporters
> and detractors.
You know, when you put it that way, I'm not sure the criticism itself
is even useful.  Shouldn't it be enough to state the facts, and let
someone decide for themselves whether or not the person is a dictator?
 "X has been frequently criticised" is a statement I think we should
avoid.  Quoting prominent figures is fine, mentioning rallys and other
organized protests is OK.  But just taking a general sentiment and
applying it to a country, for instance, is not appropriate in my book
(unless you can cite a poll I'd even say it amounts to
non-verifiable/original research).

> On the other hand, a genuinely controversial character like Michael
> Moore, doesn't need this treatment. His controversy is his career.
> Pretty much everything he has done had an immediate critical response,
> which he was aware of and probably responded to, so it makes more
> sense to put those criticisms in the body of the article.
> Do I have any supporters on this? :)
> Steve

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