[WikiEN-l] Proposal: limited extension of semi-protection

Anthony DiPierro wikilegal at inbox.org
Sat May 27 00:06:04 UTC 2006

On 5/26/06, Delirium <delirium at hackish.org> wrote:
> Anthony DiPierro wrote:
> > On 5/26/06, Andrew Gray <shimgray at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> >> On 26/05/06, Anthony DiPierro <wikilegal at inbox.org> wrote:
> >>
> >>> On 5/25/06, Jimmy Wales <jwales at wikia.com> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> Precisely my point.  It is an editorial judgment.  We can't say "just
> >>>> because it is true and verifiable we should post it in wikipedia".
> >>>>
> >>> So you believe that ranting criticisms on blogs constitute
> >>> "verifiable" information?
> >>>
> >> Ranting criticisms on blogs certainly constitute verification for
> >> writing "It has been claimed he eats babies". They do not constitute
> >> verification for "He eats babies".
> >>
> >>
> > Not according to [[wp:V]] they don't.  "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."
> >
> > I've always taken "verifiability" to mean verifiable *in a reputable
> > source*.  Some people disagree, of course (apparently you're one of
> > them), but I wasn't aware that Jimmy Wales was one of them.
> >
> I would assume this means they're not acceptable as sources for facts
> that they claim; it seems hard to argue that they aren't credible
> sourcees for the statement that they made said claims.  The main purpose
> of putting this policy in was to avoid people adding weird things like
> "Mint cures cancer [source: some random website claiming so]".
> For example, I would see nothing wrong with our article on [[Richard M.
> Stallman]] citing something he wrote on his personal website and
> attributing it to him.  His personal website saying "[x]" is not a
> reliable source for the statement "[x] is true", but it *is* a reliable
> source for the statement "Richard Stallman has said [x]", much as a
> company's official website is not necessarily a reliable source for what
> a company actually does, but *is* a reliable source for what the company
> describes itself as doing.
I disagree with this - both the premise and the example.  Besdies just
the lack of verifiability, I believe this is engaging in original
research.  In my opinion there's no need for encyclopedia editors to
do this.  If the quote from RMS is important enough to the RMS article
to be included, then someone else has probably already reported it.

That said, I do believe RMS (and any websites we can definitely
attribute to him) are a reputable source in articles like the [[GPL]],
[[free software]], etc.  But random Joe Blogger wouldn't be.

> With the personal websites of people less famous than RMS, I don't think
> the verifiability issue changes; what changes is that the statement
> "Some Guy has said [x]" becomes insufficiently interesting to merit
> inclusion in any article.
> -Mark

I don't think "sufficiently interesting" is a clear enough criterion
to be at all useful in a wiki.  While it's true that "reputable
source" can lead to its own disputes, I think it's a lot more clear
what is meant by that term, plus it separates the issue of the source
from the issue of the fact.

Essentially, I thought that's what the NPOV, V, and NOR rules were all about.


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