Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard

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Welcome to the biographies of living persons noticeboard

This page is for reporting issues regarding biographies of living persons. Generally this means cases where editors are repeatedly adding defamatory or libelous material to articles about living people over an extended period.

  • This page is not for simple vandalism or material which can easily be removed without argument. If you can, simply remove the offending material.
  • Familiarize yourself with the biographies of living persons policy before reporting issues here.
  • You can request a revision deletion on IRC using #wikipedia-en-revdel connect, where only administrators will be able to see your concerns.
  • Important: Do not copy and paste any defamatory or libelous information to this noticeboard. Link to a diff showing the dispute, but do not paste the information here.

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Steve Salerno[edit]

I am the subject of the article, author/journalist Steve Salerno. I do not have an actual Wikipedia account. However, someone has defaced my page by including a reference to a tweet I made on Oct. 4, claiming that it is "highly controversial." In reality, as of today, Oct. 5, this "highly controversial" tweet has not received a single reply or retweet. I believe this to be malicious vandalism by someone with whom I briefly engaged, and then blocked, on Twitter. Certainly this addition to my page violates rules on neutrality and does not constitute a "noteworthy" addition to my bio.

here again is my page: — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:8801:3:400:20AA:35A0:E925:3366 (talk) 15:19, 5 October 2019 (UTC)

I see that you have already reverted it [1] and I do agree that this doesn't deserve to be included. If you are the subject of the article, the correct procedure is to to request an edit on the talk page of the article. You can refer to WP:EDITREQ for the instructions. Usually these requests are answered soon enough.--DreamLinker (talk) 16:12, 5 October 2019 (UTC)
Does that policy still apply when it's a BLP violation? Those are typically supposed to be immediately removed. (talk) 04:07, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
Even if the removal can be justified on our policies and was uncontroversial, it can not be classified as vandalism, defamation or a serious error that needs to be corrected quickly, so per WP:COISELF, in the future you should request the edit as advised by DreamLinker. I have put the article on my watchlist and if it happens again I'll remove it myself. --Crystallizedcarbon (talk) 16:05, 7 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not Steve Salerno. I just noticed this post above mine about Brian Leiter. (talk) 01:00, 13 October 2019 (UTC)
Per WP:BLP, "Contentious material about living persons ... that is unsourced or poorly sourced—whether the material is negative, positive, neutral, or just questionable—should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion." (talk) 03:27, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

John Bucchino[edit]

John Bucchino (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

I happened to notice this edit which deletes statements regarding sexual orientation, with the comment "I am John Bucchino. I cut out a couple of outdated references." I also noticed the links are not dead, so it's possible he (assuming it's him) means the statements are no longer true. I have no idea and have never heard of this person before, but perhaps his article needs some extra attention. The categories, maybe. ―cobaltcigs 06:01, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

As it appears there is no desire to replace the content, I have removed the corresponding categories. Govindaharihari (talk) 17:56, 8 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I left him a welcome WP:COI template. All the stuff removed appears referenced. I won't put it back myself, not unless a consensus arises here. Govindaharihari (talk) 14:48, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

Bucchino is an "out" gay composer,[3] included in the Queer Songbook,[4] and interviewed in LGBT publications.[3][5][6] His songs are frequently performed by gay men's choruses.[7] He contributed to a number of gay-themed collections, including Feeding the flame. Songs by men to end AIDS (1990), A love worth fighting for and Winter Moon, both "a celebration of gay and lesbian singers and songwriters" (1995), and The gay 90's (1997).

I don't see why the above content should be removed. It is well-sourced that he gave interviews and did songs relating to LGBT causes. If he has recently changed his sexual orientation then maybe he can publish that on an official site somewhere which can then be stated in a "personal life" section. Even if he is no longer gay, it's still relevant to a lot of his work that he did. If he's no longer gay, perhaps the first sentence should be moved to a 'personal life' section instead of being in the lede, but the last sentence is definitely pertinent to the overall summary. (talk) 02:06, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
Thanks. I hope others will comment here. Govindaharihari (talk) 19:49, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
If someone insists on including the content, I'd suggest, at the very least, changing the first sentence as follows: "As of [year], [source] identified Bucchino as an "out" gay composer. He was included in ... (etc.)". Are the last two sentences sourced? Some of their content seems kinda trivial. (talk) 00:44, 12 October 2019 (UTC)
That's fine. It would read: "As of 2012, The Windy City Times, identified Bucchino as an "out" gay composer.[2][3] The last two sentences are summaries of his work. Perhaps a better summary should be written. The fact that he wrote the music and lyrics of Joseph: King of Dreams seems notable enough for inclusion.
Hi. I don't support, if I understand this position of this in the lede of the biography also as there is no personal life story as yet, adding something like this from dated sources could well be undue. Govindaharihari (talk) 19:49, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

I'm the same editor who recommended changing the first sentence above. After further consideration, I support the removal of any reference to Bucchino's sexuality. Per WP:NEUTRAL, "Remove material only where you have a good reason to believe it misinforms or misleads readers in ways that cannot be addressed by rewriting the passage." If Bucchino is no longer publishing his sexuality, there will never be a Wiki-reliable source to provide a counterweight to the outdated material. His sexuality barely seems relevant in the first place, and I believe the outdated material should be removed to avoid misleading readers. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 23:05, 15 October 2019 (UTC)

Peter Handke[edit]

Peter Handke (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Hi again, I'm worried that the controversy section in Peter Handke (just announced as a Nobel Literature winner) takes up almost half the article in its current state. But I don't know enough about policies to know how much a problem this is or how it should be fixed. Isn't there something about undue weight? I don't seem to be able to find a relevant tag. Guidance or extra eyes appreciated! (talk) 18:17, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

For my part I don't think it's unreasonable that the controversies take up almost half Peter Handke. Especially with the recent Nobel Prize, which has drawn fresh international attention to these controversies. Bishonen | talk 21:54, 10 October 2019 (UTC).
Thanks for checking it out. Rewrites have drastically changed balance of article now - in the opposite direction, actually so maybe now there's not enough of the controversies? If you get a chance, I'd love to be pointed to the guideline for future. Really have no idea how to assess. (talk) 16:42, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
You should read at least
  1. WP:PUBLICFIGURE (although subjects of a biography are not always public figures, it makes things easier to just assume they are)
The first two are part of BLP policy and the last one is a part neutral point of view policy, which all biographies of living persons must adhere to. You were asking about undue weight, which is a policy within NPOV policy.
The essay Wikipedia:Criticism, especially WP:CSECTION, may prove useful to you, but note that it is an essay – not a policy or a guideline. Best practice is to just integrate criticism content into the article, but that is not always easy or even feasible.
If you are certain that you want to use a tag, you may open a discussion on the talk page and tag a section with {{Criticism section}}, with an edit summary noting that there is a discussion.
Even if it has been established that a controversy belongs to a biography, there is no mathematical formula that can exactly answer how much content should be included. Politrukki (talk) 13:12, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Deletion of Clinton allegations at Epstein[edit]

WP:FORUMSHOPPING and insufficient prior discussion on article talk page. If no consensus is reached after extensive talk page discussion, suggest WP:RfC. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Guy Macon (talkcontribs) 02:15, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

Well-sourced and relatively long-standing material was removed from the Jeffrey Epstein article. Editors are interpreting the BLP guidelines quite differently.

In the Epstein article, names and allegations, denials or responses from people such as Trump, Alan Dershowitz, Ghislaine Maxwell, Bill Richardson, Prince Andrew and Bill Clinton, are included. The section regarding Bill Clinton has been causing problems. A NYT article was used to state that a claim from Virginia Guffre in recently unsealed court documents about Clinton and his presence on Little Saint James Island was retracted. The article was not clear about exactly which claim they meant, and the NYT has been contacted about the error (no response yet).

There is no source to support the notion that the allegation was retracted, and many sources say the opposite, reporting on the allegation sans mention of any retraction. Sources which support the existence of the allegation include: Law and Crime, FORBES, TIME, AP, VICE, NY Mag, The Cut, Chicago Tribune, and Fox8.

The NYT piece was considered invalid for refuting the allegation because it was unclear which claim they said was retracted, and it fails WP:EXCEPTIONAL and WP:CONTEXTMATTERS (see RS/N). @Aquillion: explained his understanding that without the NYT "retraction", the entire section containing the allegation should be removed, and he is insisting it remain off the page until we hear from the NYT.

Relevant talk page sections are:

My question is whether this removal is justified per WP:BLP, and whether waiting for the NYT to respond (which could be never) is justified? petrarchan47คุ 21:13, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Request for comment on Talk:Jeffrey Epstein[edit]

There is a request for comment regarding claims related to Virginia Giuffre and Bill Clinton in the Jeffrey Epstein article. If you are interested, please participate at Talk:Jeffrey Epstein § RfC: Virginia Giuffre and Bill Clinton. — Newslinger talk 21:41, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Simone Biles[edit]

Simone Biles is consistently being noted as the greatest gymnast ever. It's inaccurate, and the correct term would be, greatest female gymnast ever. I would like to have the page protected against this vandalism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Alrighty185 (talkcontribs) 12:58, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

  • I would say neither are acceptable with the current dearth of sourcing. "Many observers" with two citations for such a grand claim isn't appropriate IMO. Whereas if it was "Vox and CNN consider her..." and then read the articles and if they say "greatest female gymnast" or "greatest gymnast". SITH (talk) 13:02, 11 October 2019 (UTC)
    • Have fixed wording and added five more sources to sort SITH's concerns, but did not add the "female" qualifier since the sources aren't using it. They describe her the greatest among all gymnasts, male or female, not among women only. (talk) 17:07, 11 October 2019 (UTC)

Jolyon Maugham[edit]

Jolyon Maugham (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Drive-by editors keep trying to post the subject's home address to the page - but he's been receiving death threats, so this is an even more terrible idea than it would usually be. I've put the article under indefinite autoconfirmed for now, but more editors and admins keeping an eye on it would be good. Talk page may also need autoconfirmed - David Gerard (talk) 07:40, 12 October 2019 (UTC)

Val Lehman[edit]

The "Official Website" link on this page has been vandalised and leads to something very unsavoury. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Peterc14 (talkcontribs) 19:35, 14 October 2019 (UTC)

It's been fixed. – Ammarpad (talk) 06:24, 15 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not sure this was vandalism though. It looks to me like much more likely the domain name of the official website was never renewed so was taken over by cybersquatters Nil Einne (talk) 18:10, 15 October 2019 (UTC)


Wikipedia is painting a negative image of Alexis Kennedy using terms like "predatory behaviour" and "abusive".

The linked source articles state concrete behaviours he is accused of like: "made her feel uncomfortable with sexual comments", "being angry", cursing, not behaving according to common expectations of professionality and lying.

The words (the ones I mentioned above) wikipedia currently uses could be associated with different meanings and I do not find them expressing a neutral point of view. Like a (sexual) predator is a rapist.

Therefore I think the first part of the allegations should be rewritten and include more concrete statements of what he is accused instead of painting an unfairly negative (according to current sources) image of him. Attempts of me rewriting parts of it, not perfectly maybe, but at elast better than the current version, got undone very fast. Sources:

Also "crosses professional boundaries" is not a clearly defined term. Is it common on wikipedia to publish accusations like that? (The reader doesn't know what the accusation exactly is).

Independent from what I wrote above I have a personal opinion on accusations: I would like to discuss if wikipedia is now a place were living persons can be publicy accused, especially without these accusations being proven. While I personally believe them based on the sources I read, having such information freely available about oneself on the internet can seriously harm ones reputation and therefore ones career. I also hold the moral value in esteem that everyone deserves a second chance - that is a life without being treated based on ones past deeds. I would hold that view even if someone commited murder. I'll also might check this accusation practice legally according to the German law which is the country in which I life and which should effect the German part of wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:908:A66:3A0:346A:4003:F860:191A (talk) 01:41, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

The version currently up there [4] seems fine. It is clear from existing text these are 1) only allegations, and 2) not criminal allegations, but exploitive behavior. The amount of detail is appropriate given that the allegations have impacted their company. Additionally, we cannot use Medium posts as sources at WP - they are user-generated content and not appropriate. I would agree with the change that MPS1992 did after this report: the language of "predator" and the like come directly from the accusers and should not be left unquoted, so the reworked content is still fair to the accusations made but removes inappropriate words spoken from wikivoice. --Masem (t) 21:45, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

I would agree with the current version/changes from MPS1992 (17:17, 16 October 2019) being pretty good. Let's hope it stays that way or in that kind of writing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:908:A66:3A0:E1D4:EFB6:2050:47D5 (talk)

Cameron Colvin[edit]

Cameron Colvin (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

There is an ongoing content dispute between Double001007 and myself, about both the veracity of certain claims as well as the style in which they are presented. Here's what's verifiably known about Colvin: he was a blue chip wide receiver prospect in the high school class of 2004 (see Rivals), went on to have a humdrum career for the Oregon Ducks, suffered a major ankle injury midway through his senior year that effectively ended his NFL draft prospects (see ESPN), and eventually spent a couple of weeks in the 2008 off-season as training camp fodder for the San Francisco 49ers. More recently, he was portrayed in the movie When the Game Stands Tall (see Mercury News), so all in all I would say Colvin passes our notability criteria.

But now comes the fishy part: over the years, numerous single-purpose accounts added and re-added mostly unsourced puffery about Colvin's supposed business prowess and charity work. First there was Joscott1 on 27 December 2011, then UODuck07 on 14 October 2014, then Gossbull on 12 June 2015, and most recently Double001007 on 7 June 2017. It's not far-fetched to assume that these accounts are sock-puppets, and given that Double001007 referred to Colvin's article as "our page" I suspect the individual(s) behind these accounts is closely connected to the subject. Various clean-up attempts by DoctorKubla on 12 November 2012, Mike Selinker on 8 November 2015, Azcolvin429 on 9 April 2017, and most recently myself on 13 October 2019, were eventually reverted by the above mentioned SPAs.

Colvin seems to be a business person of some stature, judging by the brief mentions in reliable sources (see The Oregonian), but claims of a billion-dollar business empire clearly seem to be inflated (Side note: at some point, JenRod1990 poked fun at the comical hyperbole in this article, which then was reverted by Double001007.) If I had to guess, I would say Colvin himself is behind all the fawning SPAs above, abusing Wikipedia as means of self-promotion. And quite frankly, we've seen even crazier things here over the years (remember Giovanni Strassini?). Anyhow, since this is at this point a content dispute between Double001007 and myself, I was looking for third opinions. --bender235 (talk) 14:59, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

Bastyr University[edit]

Bastyr University (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Bastyr University currently includes an alumni section. Of the five people listed only two currently have articles. The other three are non-notable individuals who would not qualify for articles, and who appear to be listed to criticise Bastyr. Should we be including people who would not qualify for articles, and/or should we be using these people to criticise Bastyr? - Bilby (talk) 21:21, 16 October 2019 (UTC)

I would not include them. I can see the case of a notable news story about a university where former named students came back to seek legal action or some other factor. While we can certainly say they were alumni (assuming they graduated) they do not belong on a school's "notable alumni" list, which only should be blue linked name. --Masem (t) 21:38, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
I removed the names since they do not seem to be notable individuals as required under WP:LISTPEOPLE. – Wallyfromdilbert (talk) 21:51, 16 October 2019 (UTC)
Pinging Alexbrn, who has reinserted the names. – Wallyfromdilbert (talk) 02:45, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
WP:LISTPEOPLE is guidance for standalone list articles isn't it? (and even so, exceptions would apply to people famous for an event). Alexbrn (talk) 03:12, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, I meant to cite WP:ALUMNI, which says "Alumni to be included should meet Wikipedia notability criteria". – Wallyfromdilbert (talk) 03:34, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
That's just an essay. I think trimming this to a list of two would be odd. I'm not averse to reworking the material somehow to avoid a list. Alexbrn (talk) 03:44, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
There have been discussions elsewhere on this issue, which is what led to WP:Alumni and the approach we've used before. From my view, if the people are not notable, and would not qualify for an article, then we leave them out to avoid situations where the university is being used to promote non-notable indivudals or to denigrate them. In this case they are not notable, but are being highlighted so as to criticise the university, which is not something we should do with living people. - Bilby (talk) 04:04, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
I also think there are BLP concerns when using a university's article to criticize alumni who are not notable. What about putting D'Adamo and Hermes into the "Criticism" section, or adding content about Hermes there and putting D'Adamo in a "See also" section? – Wallyfromdilbert (talk) 04:14, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
@Bilby: That's an argument about intent, which is bogus: we cannot help how reality is, it's not our problem to fix. If this was a standalone article people who are not Notable but who were verifiably famous for an incident would merit inclusion per the actual WP:PAGs (not some essay). There is also of course a WP:FRINGE aspect to this in that Wikipedia must make it plain how the wider world of reason reacts. I think this material may be re-workable to avoid a list in any case. How about that? Alexbrn (talk) 04:23, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
I'm not inclined to pretend that the intent is something other than what it was. However, they are not "verifiably famous" for an incident, so this is moot. There's a distinction between "limited coverage online" and "verifiably famous" - the latter of which would potentially qualify for an article, the former would not. - Bilby (talk) 04:30, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
In the case of Michael T Murray, neither of the cited sources describe him as an alumnus of the university. One doesn't mention the establishment at all, while the other refers to him only as a faculty member. Perhaps he should go from the Alumni section unless a source can be found. Neiltonks (talk) 12:09, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
Good catch! Bastyr claim him as one of theirs though[5] so this is fixable. Alexbrn (talk) 12:34, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
    • I actually looked at the three names being added, and even considering their non-notability, it is a massive BLP to be discussing their "wrongdoings" in a list of alumni, per BLP crime. Alumni list should be very brief, name and what they do today (see something like List of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alumni). It is absolutely NOT the place to be trying to lay accusations against those people or to the university or any other coatracking. If they are blue-linked and can be confirmed to have gone there, then they can stay but without the coatracking. If not, then they don't belong, and certainly not anything questioning them or the people. I know this is an "alternative medicine" school so there's going to be a lot of doubt about who they produce, but put that in context of the school, not the alumni. --Masem (t) 13:37, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
      • WP:BLPCRIME refers very specifically to criminality, not "wrongdoing". This would seem to be a misapplication of policy to "win" a content dispute. What is more, mentioning the blood type diet without also mentioning it's dangerous/bogus is not NPOV. I will raise a query at WP:FT/N because there are WP:PSCI / WP:FRINGE issues here. Alexbrn (talk) 13:43, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
        • Same principal applies. Non-notable people that have been marked in sources of wrongdoing - even if it is things like pushing pseudoscience - should not be called out for that. If the person is notable, and there's criticism of their pseudoscience, put that on the person's bio. If there's issues with the college, put that in a criticism of the college, but don't attach it to a non-notable person. BLP is very clear what is appropriate in these cases. --Masem (t) 13:48, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
          • I disagree (unless you can point me to the "very clear" policy). Wikipedia articles mention "wrongdoing" by non-notable people all the time, whether it be research fraud, making questionable claims or selling dodgy products. If what you said was correct large swathes of the encyclopedia would need to be re-written (starting with the blood type diet perhaps, which clearly identifies its chief proponent). Alexbrn (talk) 13:56, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
            • If there is a standalone page for a person, it is reasonable within UNDUE, and BLP (including a whole host of issues there) to discuss notable criticisms about them on their page. It is a coatrack to bring it up on unrelated pages where that person is mentioned unless it is essential to discuss on the other subject. (For example, we could have a case of a "doctor" that is notable as well as their fad diet that is seperately notable. Criticism aimed at the doctor's credentials would clearly be fine on the doctor's page, and may also be appropriate on the fad diet page if part of the criticism of the diet is due to the doctor's credentials). That's not the case here: even for your blue-linked names, what they did after Bastyr has no relevancy to Bastyr, so the criticism should stay on their page. And just adding non-notables to add criticism to them is against BLP, BLPCRIME, and PUBLICFIGURE (non-notable, so definitely not public figures). --Masem (t) 14:04, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
              • Well that's an interesting take, but it's not policy - and I think it would create problems for our requirement for neutrality if applied wholesale. Why do you say "what they did after Bastyr has no relevancy to Bastyr" when RS makes that very connection? Alexbrn (talk) 14:24, 17 October 2019 (UTC)
                • Let's take [6] which is about D'Adamo. It mentions Bastyr three times, twice identifying it as D'Adamo alma mater, and once in an aside comment about dubious academic practices. That's not a sufficient connection to be trying to call out criticism of D'Adamo on the Bastyr page, though can be used to support criticism of Bastyr's dubious academic program without mentioning D'Adamo's name. --Masem (t) 14:40, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Non notability should not be circumventable by inclusion in articles about other subjects. For a start wp:weight comes into it.Slatersteven (talk) 13:51, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Edward Skyler[edit]

Hi, I’m Jennifer and I work with Ed at Citi. We noticed a recent edit to his article related to our 2018 announcement of a U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy, which contains editorialized language and therefore doesn’t adhere to a neutral point of view. As a suggestion, this should be presented with a more balanced view that captures the range of reactions from Citi employees, customers and clients. This New York Times story quotes Citi’s CEO and presents more detail on this. An alternative suggestion to edit would be to simply remove the language that follows the link to the policy. Can someone please review these suggestions? LowneyJen (talk) 13:27, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

I have removed the content as it was basically unsourced, relying only on the Citigroup blog which is insufficient to say he was influential in drafting that policy and also doesn't say it was criticised. If anyone wants to add it back, they will need to find reliable secondary sources to establish both that it's something significant regarding Edward Skyler and that the criticism extended to his role. Nil Einne (talk) 13:50, 17 October 2019 (UTC)

Jelena Dokic[edit]

Jelena Dokic (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views)

Defamatory diffs: [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

I've semi-protected the page for a month and will keep an eye on things to see if that needs to be longer or if the level needs to be increased. - Bilby (talk) 00:31, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Bilby, shouldn't the diffs be deleted/restricted/hidden since they contain defamatory claims? Archer1234 (talk) 01:26, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Done. - Bilby (talk) 03:26, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Celeste Beard[edit]

It says "her sons" ( in the trial segment), Celeste Beard didn't have sons, she had daughters — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 18 October 2019 (UTC)