[WikiEN-l] Defeat: Notability is Policy

Oldak Quill oldakquill at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 10:58:25 UTC 2008

On 01/02/2008, Philip Sandifer <snowspinner at gmail.com> wrote:
> Those of you who have been following the strange life of "notability"
> on Wikipedia as it evolved from a series of debates on VfD about
> deletion philosophy to an ill-defined word used to bite newbies, and
> then to a series of ill-defined guidelines used to bite newbies will
> be saddened to know that the last firewall on this issue has now been
> breached, and notability has been enshrined at the level of policy
> instead of guideline.
> Despite a number of objections, consensus seems to be forming on WP:V
> to include the line "If no reliable, third-party sources can be found
> for an article topic, Wikipedia should not have an article on it." in
> the policy. This line may be familiar in its more-cited form, "A topic
> is presumed to be notable if it has received significant coverage in
> reliable sources that are independent of the subject," from WP:N.
> So there you go. The process that is most often used to generate bad
> press, hurt feelings, and upset newbie contributors is now enshrined
> as policy.
> Go us?

I've always considered the former definition to be "verifiable", and
the latter "notable". Verifiable is a pretty objective, pretty
easy-to-use guideline - something is either verifiable or it is not.
Notability (the key word in the definition is "significant"), is a
subjective judgment. Since there is no fixed definition, it changes
per person. Notability is so flexible that it can mean many things to
many people and is often used as a proxy to delete articles people
think shouldn't be on Wikipedia for other reasons.

Oldak Quill (oldakquill at gmail.com)

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