Wikipedia talk:Neutral point of view

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using a reliable source to introduce fact that is not true.....[edit]

I’ve a curious situation. On a page about an alternative medical modality, an excellent source (American Cancer Society) is used to introduce the following sentence "available scientific evidence does not support claims that craniosacral therapy helps in treating cancer or any other disease". There is one problem, the modality does not claim to be effective for cancer. So, this quote gives the false impression that craniosacral is debunked for the claim that it can help fight cancer..... In my opinion, this is exactly the kind of falsehoods we do not need to have here at Wikipedia.... KFvdL (talk) 20:49, 1 August 2019 (UTC)

The quote implies that somebody made a claim regarding cancer. You stated that "the modality does not claim" well of course not, modalities can't make claims because they are just modalities. :-) So, what did you rally mean.....that NOBODY made such a claim? Maybe these thoughts / questions might help sort it out. North8000 (talk) 21:24, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
There are always individual practitioners who make wild claims, medical doctors are not exempt from that either. However, the main institutes like Upledger and others do not make those claims, as they know damn well that that would be a invalid claim. KFvdL (talk) 21:41, 1 August 2019 (UTC)
So what you're saying is that a reliable source is being used to say something that is true, but you consider misleading, because no true craniosacral therapist claims to treat cancer. Regardless, this means that the "not true" part of your headline is itself misleading. Anyway, the neutral point of view is the one that is the one that accurately describes the viewpoints of reliable sources. If reliable sources are calling out craniosacral therapists for bogus cancer claims, then it belongs in the article. What you're described is a good argument for keeping this content out of a hypothetical article on a specific institution. Someguy1221 (talk) 02:20, 2 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for explaining how Wikipedia allows falsehoods to be introduced to articles using incorrect quotes of reliable sources. KFvdL (talk) 22:15, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
It is certainly accurate that Wikipedia does not care what you the editor think is true. Someguy1221 (talk) 23:16, 3 August 2019 (UTC)
That too... KFvdL (talk) 03:12, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Labeling or categorizing BLP subjects as TERFs or trans-exclusionary radical feminists[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#Labeling or categorizing BLP subjects as TERFs or trans-exclusionary radical feminists and comment. Halo Jerk1 (talk) 02:52, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

Now it's an RfC. Found at Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons/Noticeboard#RfC: Should we provide attribution when using "TERF" or "trans-exclusionary radical feminist" when describing BLP subjects?. Halo Jerk1 (talk) 04:14, 5 August 2019 (UTC)

"Describing aesthetic opinions" e.g. "greatest" in lead sections of Tennis player articles![edit]

Hi everyone. Since this is this page which has most of the guidance for adding aesthetic opinions in Wikipedia articles, I just thought I'd let you all know there is currently a discussion/RFC in Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Tennis on whether statements like "one of the greatest" or "the greatest of all time" can be added into the lead sections of Tennis player articles (e.g. Roger Federer) or kept in a separate section e.g. Legacy. Now the guidelines in the "Describing aesthetic opinions" section of this article seems to support mention of such statements in Wikipedia articles as long as they are supported with reliable references but it does not state whether they should be mentioned in the lead section or not which has lead to various problems across the tennis player articles in recent times, especially since last year. Since there has been no major additions to that discussion since 17th August 2019 and it currently seems to be a tie between supporting mention of such statements in the lead and opposing their mention in the lead, which means there is currently no sign of consensus, I do request anyone here to please add their opinions onto that survey/discussion whether if you are a tennis fan or not because a consensus is really needed there. Many thanks. Broman178 (talk) 09:18, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Describing climate change and global warming as "crisis"[edit]

Some media outlets have formally adopted the phrase "climate crisis" to report on climate change aka global warming. The issue has come up for us in a thread at Talk:Greta_Thunberg#Using_'Existential_crisis'_in_Wikivoice. Please consider adding your comments there. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:00, 27 August 2019 (UTC)

Does due weight apply to facts?[edit]

I've just opened a discussion over at NPOVN regarding whether or not WP:DUE applies to factual information or is only relevant to opinions. I'd appreciate outside comments from users here. Nblund talk 02:16, 28 August 2019 (UTC)

Request for Comment (involving WP:DUE)[edit]

Hello, more input is appreciated at this RfC regarding the lead intro on a BLP article. I'm posting this request here because it involves WP:DUE. Thank you. Lapadite (talk) 03:08, 22 September 2019 (UTC)

Assertion that "peer-reviewed journals" means an absent of POV in an article[edit]

Opinions are needed on the following: Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#Assertion that "peer-reviewed journals" means an absent of POV in an article (permalink here). Editors can also obviously comment directly at Talk:Cultural impact of Michael Jackson#Peer-reviewed journals means POV?. Flyer22 Reborn (talk) 01:50, 7 October 2019 (UTC)

NPOV vs consensus[edit]

This policy is non-negotiable, and the principles upon which it is based cannot be superseded by other policies or guidelines, nor by editor consensus.

From time to time I see an editor trying to use NPOV as a kind of trump card, claiming that the above sentence gives them the right to override a majority who believe they are applying NPOV incorrectly. As I read it, it does appear to do that; on the other hand I don't see how that can possibly serve the project. Further, I've yet to see that argument prevail, with the majority essentially saying "Oh ok, if you put it THAT way, go right ahead!" How do you resolve this? If that argument is wrong, how should we modify that sentence to prevent further misuse of it? ―Mandruss  07:43, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

It's subject to gaming by insincere editors, but there is a difference between "Consensus that X is NPOV" and "Consensus that X is not NPOV, but we like X so we'll do it anyway". The purpose is to direct discussion toward figuring out what the neutral point of view is, and away from deciding whether to follow it at all. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:01, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
"Consensus that X is not NPOV, but we like X so we'll do it anyway" is always disguised (consciously or unconsciously) as "Consensus that X is NPOV". I've never seen anybody openly "deciding whether to follow it at all". If the majority is in the wrong, the only sensible remedy is uninvolved close, not assertion of NPOV as a trump card by one or two editors present, since there is no way of knowing whether they are gaming or not. ―Mandruss  08:11, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
You're correct insofar as experienced editors are concerned. Newbies very frequently do not understand this, and have some goal other than NPOV, or have a concept of neutrality quite far from what is written on the policy page. The "non-negotiableness" is convenient for getting the point across that Wikipedia doesn't care that you think it's really important to point out XYZ because reasons. But you're right, and that's why I said it's subject to gaming. One might imagine stating explicitly that figuring out what the neutral point of view actually is requires discussion and consensus, but I don't see such a change putting any sense into someone who already thinks his personal analysis is more important than anyone else's. He'll just move on to claiming that since consensus considers the weight of arguments and their basis in policy, that the majority is wrong and does not represent a consensus. Someguy1221 (talk) 08:49, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
And you're saying that there is no way that policy can be written in such a way as to prevent either of those invalid arguments? Hard for me to fathom. A little creep perhaps, but well justified creep. ―Mandruss  10:10, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
Not at all, I'm sure there are improvements to be made. I'm just wondering if the specific scenario you are discussing is a user confused about policy, or a user hell bent on ignoring everyone else. Someguy1221 (talk) 13:27, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I find that confusion is often caused by editors focusing on content (which does not have to be neutral) rather than on editors' handling of content (they must be neutral and not censor or neuter the POV or bias in a source). -- BullRangifer (talk) 14:54, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Should we add the following?

  • "Interpretation of its correct application in specfic situations is interpreted by consensus and our dispute resolution process."

BullRangifer (talk) 14:48, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

That would be great, but it would appear to contradict the statement highlighted above. I don't think it should be added without somehow resolving the apparent contradiction; we have too much apparently self-contradictory policy already. If that means removing the highlighted statement, I'm fine with that. This policy is non-negotiable?? Really? Isn't the consensus process a form of negotiation? ―Mandruss  20:51, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

The "non-negotiable" is a vague statement, but operatively/ practically means that the policy can't be overridden by consensus. Saying that a guideline can't override a policy doesn't need repeating here. And if 2 policies clearly conflict, we have to fix that problem rather than rely on one policy claiming superiority over all other policies. So why not just say "this policy can't be overidden by consensus"? North8000 (talk) 21:20, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

That will not work, because when a local consensus is to keep some non-neutral content, the very fact that that content violates NPOV is not recognized. Usually, it looks like that: a handful of users, who want to keep a statement X, decide that the statement X does not violate neutrality policy, despite the fact that it does.
As a result, formally there is no conflict at all: everybody formally recognizes NPOV, and everybody is acting according to consensus. If one user disagrees, their arguments are ignored, and that user is accused of acting against consensus. --Paul Siebert (talk) 03:23, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
@Paul Siebert: Is this comment in the right place? ―Mandruss  03:56, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Yes. It is easy to say that "NPOV cannot be overridden by consensus", the problem is that it will not work because when consensus is achieved to keep some content, it is implicitly (or explicitly) assumed that NPOV was not violated. The arguments like: "the edit X violates NPOV" face a counterargument: "A consensus has been achieved that the edit X does not violate NPOV." That means the clause that local consensus cannot override NPOV will not work, because it is unclear who is supposed to decide that NPOV violation really occurred.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:11, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
I can explain that in simpler words: When a user X is a POV pusher, and users A, B, C are acting according to NPOV, they can easily revert X's edits and create a neutral content. However, when a user X respects NPOV, whereas users A, B, C are pushing some POV, A, B, and C can easily come to a local consensus that their edits are in full accordance with NPOV, and a user X is an edit warrior who is violating both NPOV and Consensus policy. For admins, who are not expected to go into details of that content dispute it will be clear that a user X should be blocked, and A, B, C are good users who are observing our policies.--Paul Siebert (talk) 04:22, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
As soon as the fact of NPOV violation is confirmed, it is not hard to fix it. The problem is that to claim that the NPOV violation did take place, we need to achieve consensus about that. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:29, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
I think that's very consistent with what I've been saying throughout. In your latter case, user X should request an uninvolved close and the closer should be competent enough, objective enough, and brave enough to close against ABC. If the closer fails to close against ABC, X should request close review. If the close review fails to correct the close, the imperfect system has failed. To the extent that there are not enough competent, objective, and brave closers to handle the workload, the imperfect system has failed. But it's still better than handing out NPOV trump cards to any editor who wants one. So how do we get that incorrect or at least egregiously misleading sentence removed or improved? ―Mandruss  04:40, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
Frankly, I have a double feeling about that. I don't remember if I ever faced a situation when NPOV was used as a trump card, but I know many examples when requirements of NPOV policy were overridden by a local consensus. Actually, nothing terrible will happen if some user uses this trump card ... once. That means imperfect system has failed :-). I see nothing terrible in that, for the fact of misuse NPOV policy is easy to demonstrate, so the user must be prepared to defend their actions on relevant noticeboard, e.g. at ANI. NPOV is a strong weapon, and if you are using such a strong weapon you must be prepared for severe sanctions for misusing them. --Paul Siebert (talk) 04:57, 19 October 2019 (UTC)
So why not just say "this policy can't be overidden by consensus"? Again, that fails to address misapplication of the policy, which is corrected by – consensus. If consensus incorrectly corrects correct application of the policy, the remedy is uninvolved close, which we have to assume will be both policy-knowledgeable and objective. Then, if someone feels that the uninvolved close was incorrect, they can request close review. There is ample protection against wrong consensuses without providing trump cards. ―Mandruss  22:23, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

───────────────────────── Proposed paragraph change
NPOV is a fundamental principle of Wikipedia and of other Wikimedia projects. It is also one of Wikipedia's three core content policies; the other two are "Verifiability" and "No original research". These policies jointly determine the type and quality of material that is acceptable in Wikipedia articles, and depend on one another for their correct use. Therefore, this trio of interdependent core content policies-
* Should not be interpreted in isolation from one another,
* Can not be superseded by local consensus,
* Always control when other guidelines or policies appear to conflict with the interdependent provisions of this trio of policies.
Editors are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with all three.
If approved, then copy similar text to the other two.
NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:40, 18 October 2019 (UTC)

Oppose "Can not be superseded by local consensus" – for the reasons articulated above. As Someguy1221 correctly said, figuring out what the neutral point of view actually is requires discussion and consensus. BLP is the only policy that can be played as a trump card overriding consensus, and only because that's necessary to protect the project from costly lawsuits that could kill it. ―Mandruss  22:59, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
As a rule, non-neutrality problems happen with articles that are beyond the scope of a broader community. I cannot imagine a really non-neutral content to survive in high profile articles such as USA or WWII. In contrast, in the articles that are a subject of interest of some small group of users (especially those who belong to some national or political group), local consensus can really violate our policy. Taking into account that other users either are disinterested in that topic, or do not have needed knowledge, even NPOVN does not help, because the participants of the discussion at NPOVN are the same, and the opinion of uninvolved users becomes significantly diluted.
A possible solution could be to separate local and broader consensus. That can be done by separating involved and uninvolved users: for example, when the dispute moves to NPOVN, involved parties and uninvolved users are supposed to comment in separate sections, and the discussion must be summarized by some uninvolved user or an admin. That can be done by modifying the format of a NPOVN discussion: to add a template (similar to the AE template) where the user who posts the question lists all parties of the NPOV dispute, and those users are automatically considered involved. Other users are considered uninvolved, and their opinia are supposed to have greater weight.--Paul Siebert (talk) 23:35, 18 October 2019 (UTC)
I support Paul's suggestion, he points to a real problem with how the NPOVN works.--Ermenrich (talk) 00:35, 19 October 2019 (UTC)