[Wikimedia-l] Resolution: Media about living people

Mark delirium at hackish.org
Thu Dec 12 23:32:58 UTC 2013

On 12/12/13, 11:16 PM, David Gerard wrote:
> On 12 December 2013 12:25, Mark <delirium at hackish.org> wrote:
>> Between tendentious negative information and self-promoting positive
>> information, I worry that the overall quality level of our biographies of
>> living people ends up poor in a great many cases, especially cases outside
>> the top tier of biographies visible enough to draw significant third-party
>> editors (Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, that kind of thing). But it would be
>> better to understand the problem, if it is one, in more detail.
> I don't think this is, though - when people are this unambiguously
> famous, I think our biographies hold up in terms of content, even when
> the prose flows badly.

Perhaps I worded this badly; I think I actually agree with you, and was 
trying to say something similar. When people are famous enough that 
their biographies draw significant third-party editing, I think we 
actually *do* do an okay job. The prose of [[en:Barack Obama]] may not 
be ideal, but it's clearly not a puff piece written by his press 
secretary (on the one hand), nor a hit piece written by his political 
opponents (on the other). It's all the rest of the biographies of living 
people (which are a *lot*) where I worry our quality is poor. BLPs of 
people below the top tier of fame seem to attract a disproportionate 
amount of unfortunately motivated editing.

My main point is that I think we may have a big quality issue here, of 
being (so far) simply unable to cover a class of articles to a 
consistently high standard. Rather than a narrow issue of personal 
attacks solvable by more diligent application of OTRS responses and the 


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