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

Erik Moeller eloquence at gmail.com
Sun May 7 19:02:23 UTC 2006

On 5/7/06, Michael Snow <wikipedia at earthlink.net> wrote:
> I'm not at all saying that criticisms should be omitted, or a neutral
> point of view abandoned. But their consolidation into separate
> "Criticisms" sections is generally undesirable, I would say.

That's more of a question of style than substance, and I agree with
most of your points. However, "Criticism" sections are definitely
easier to write than a well-consolidated article. It takes a lot of
skill to avoid an article that reads like a constant back and forth.
When you have warring factions watching over the article like hawks,
it gets even harder.

As for Anthony's point that we should focus on facts rather than
reactions, I agree; however, the facts, the interpretation, and their
relevance are all often in dispute. If you don't actually cite the
people making the claims directly in those cases, policies like NPOV,
verifiability, and "Original Research" will quickly be invoked by
those who'd rather not like to see certain facts mentioned in the
article at all. We turn opinions into facts by attributing them.

My main point is that living persons are just as deserving of
criticism as dead ones. Unlike the dead ones, they have feelings we
can hurt, so it makes sense to be extra careful about what we say and
how we say it. The case of Tron on  de.wikipedia.org, however, showed
that even dead people may have lawyers.


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