Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 189

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Kennewick Man - using an unread book as a source

There's been discussion at Talk:Kennewick Man, and related discussion at Talk:Settlement of the Americas, about the use of a Smithsonian magazine article by the novelist Douglas Preston, mainly between myself and an IP editor(I'm assuming the 2 IP addresses to be the same editor). Some of this is about OR issues, but what I'm bringing here is the use of this article as a surrogate for an academic book, Kennewick Man, The Scientific Investigation of an Ancient American Skeleton, Edited by Douglas W. Owsley and Richard L. Jantz. I've argued that we should not be using the Smithsonian source, not just because the author is a novelist and unqualified, but also because the book exists. The upshot is that the IP added the book and the article in various places as a source. I pointed out that we should have page numbers, and also that if he/she was using the book either he had read it and could provide page numbers, or he/she hadn't read the book and shouldn't use it as a source (the response being that Preston's summary was a good subtitute). So, the IP has now added page number request tags, which IMHO shows that he/she hasn't read the book. My own opinion is that we shouldn't use any of the material sourced to Preston and an unread book. Comments? Dougweller (talk) 07:14, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

And nothing to do with the IP, just noticed "<ref>{{cite web|url= |title=Y-DNA-HAPLOGROUP-I-L Archives: Kennewick Man's bones provide window to past |publisher=RootsWeb |date= |accessdate=2012-10-12}}</ref><ref>{{cite web|url= |title=The Case of the 9000 Year Old Kennewick Man Revisited | |date=August 30, 2002 |accessdate=2012-10-12}}</ref>" used as sources. Not only is Viewzone a fringe site, that page has copyvio. Dougweller (talk) 10:54, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
In theory, the Smithsonian article is a secondary source, but if the author is unqualified we can't rely on any judgment he might draw form the book, so the book would be a better source as you say. should be on the bloody blacklist, it's worthless by Wikipedia standards. Guy (Help!) 22:00, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
The page contains an article from the Tri-City Herald by Anna King, dated July 23, 2006, no longer available from the webpage of that source. It contains accounts of the team that was then examining the skeleton. In it, anthropologist C. Loring Brace offers the opinion referred to in the article that Kennewick Man was related to the Jōmon - Ainu lineage. This challenge fits the pattern of frivolous claims by Mr. Weller in the interest of purging sources relating Kennewick Man to Jōmon - Ainu lineage, described below. (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
It's a copyvio link so can't be used. We can use the article as a source so long as there's enough detail to locate the article, but I think there are book sources mentioning it. I'm not trying to purge anything but bad sources and, earlier, OR. Dougweller (talk) 17:51, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Easier than I thought, the Wayback Machine has a link to the actual newspaper article, so I've added that. Dougweller (talk) 18:02, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

yet more spurious claims by dougweller

Mr. Weller made an incorrect assumption about my access to the primary source. Here is a copy/paste of my most recent entry into that particular discussion:

"Nobody is suggesting that just leaving things flagged is acceptable. If one flags one's own contribution, one is obligated to complete the endeavor in a reasonable timeframe. However the point is moot, at least for the Owsley references, as I was able to use my occasional access to a Kindle copy to peruse the relevant articles and complete the references in conformance with standards for references to articles in multi-author compilation volumes. The standard is author-title-volume, much like journal articles. Page numbers are not part of that standard, because of different pagination systems used by different volumes. I also took the opportunity to review sections related to evidence for the life history and burial of Kennewick Man that have a deficient (now flagged) reference, Annual Editions: Archaeology, 10th Edition. The same information is in the Owsley volume articles, so I was able to add backup references in case the issues with the Annual Editions references are unable to be resolved. Having references from the Owsley volume resolves the dilemma of maintaining reference standards or losing information in that case."
"I still maintain that the Preston references should be kept as a courtesy to users of this article without access to the Owsley volume. Nothing I found indicated that Preston had mis-reported any of the findings in the Owsley volume. (talk) 01:05, 25 April 2015 (UTC)"

The regard of Preston as an "unreliable source" because he has written novels is unfounded, since with the Smithsonian article Preston was working in the capacity of a journalist for Smithsonian Magazine and not a novelist, i.e., as a category of secondary source that is accepted on WP. I opened up a heading on the talk page of Kennewick Man regarding that issue. That led to a discussion in which Mr. Weller made some interesting assertions, including that it was "evident" that the primary source (the Owsley volume) was not peer-reviewed, i.e. itself unreliable as a primary source, and he provided links to sites repeating malicious rumors to back up that claim. I knew that the assertion was nonsense because of my familiarity with the volume and its evident standards, similar to other professional compilations. The article that was the ultimate source for Mr. Weller's assertion (linked in that discussion) was actually refuted in a comment left by the curator in charge of the Kennewick Man skeleton at the Burke Museum in Seattle.

At the time, there were various assertions, speculation, and at least one unattributed quote in the KM article referenced to a Seattle Times article, that Mr. Weller apparently had no problem with. The solution (expedited by me, not by Mr. Weller) was to parse the Seattle Times article for the one piece of information from its primary source (a 2013 email) that was appropriate to use in the KM article with proper context and disclosure. Reviewing the past history of Mr. Weller's attempts to challenge article information in the talk page, and the problem issues he has not been responsive to, it is sadly evident that there is an agenda not related to the pursuit of a high standard, well-substantiated WP article. Mr. Weller has been making frivolous and unfounded claims in the talk page against any source indicating that Kennewick Man's heritage may be in coastal Asia, e.g. "Custred edits & POV?" (31 March, 2008), "Ainu and WP:UNDUE"(12, December, 2013). Mr. Weller's rationale for the Ainu claim turned out to be demonstrably wrong, and the claim advocated minimizing the work of at least three of the top physical anthropologists in the country (Brace, Powell, and Owsley), who did analyses of the KM skeleton and reached the same conclusions. Mr. Weller's campaign against anything related to the Owsley volume, which is the most intensive, complete work related to the KM skeleton to date, fits that pattern. The "no peer review" claim held no water, just like the "novelist" and "unread book" claims. (talk) 05:35, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Most of this is not worth responding to, as it misrepresents what I've done or said. Eg, I never said the Owsley edited book wasn't peer reviewed. I've mentioned my disquiet about using the Seattle times article on the talk page. There's been no official report yet and I've said elsewhere we should normally wait before using something only briefly reported in the news. And I clearly said, at both talk pages, that we should use the Owsley book, not secondary sources. Of course we should use the book, who would doubt that? We shouldn't however I admit to disliking the use of 'Ainu' as they are a historical culture that postdate Kennewick Man by several thousand years. Why people mention Ainu is something that puzzles me. (sorry, it's when they simply say 'related to' rather than as Owsley does, mentioning the Ainu as among his closest living relatives, although I'd prefer a reference to groups contemporary with him).
I still think we need page numbers, and earlier this week I asked interlibrary loan to get me the book. Oh, and I have no stake as to where Kennewick Man's heritage was in Asia. I can't see how it matters. Dougweller (talk) 17:31, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

BBC misrepresentation of sources

I am closing this before the OP runs out of feet. Failure to reflect your POV sufficiently strongly does not amount to unreliablility, the BBC has an international reputation for journalistic quality and you'd need to show some heavyweight independent coverage of international standing to be able to assert that this use of everyday terminology amounts to bias within the programme, let alone a systemic bias at the BBC. Guy (Help!) 19:31, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

There has been a recent BBC documentary (the presenter being Peter Taylor (journalist)) on the funding of "ISIL" / "Islamic State group" in which foreign language interviewees continually used "Daesh" and "ISIL" to which the BBC added subtitles "IS" or "Islamic State". For instance a smuggler who helped the group in a trade in oil repeatedly used "daesh" and the bbc continually represented this as IS. Similar happened with comments of the General of Pershmerga forces (who was not named) who consistently referred to daesh. Abu Hajjar, a former "senior leader of IS" indicated that Abu Abdul Rahman al-Bilawi "is considered to be the number two man in daesh" yet the subtitle was presented "is considered to be the number two man in IS" (26 mins into the 59 min prog.) "Someone who risked his life monitoring ancient sites deep in the heart of IS-occupied territory" was interviewed. Perhaps sensibly the voice of this person was not presented but, following above I feel no need to trust the "TRANSLATION:IS has experts who know it was a ritual of the Romans to bury their dead with the tools of the afterlife. At 42 mins into the interview a woman who got out of Ar-Raqqah, who may well have been affected by the regime, quoted as speaking of IS with her actual voice removed.

On another topic, within the content: Bartle Bull, Middle East correspondent, commented "In Northern Syria and much of Iraq, the ISIL are bulldozing, destroying ancient sites simply to get rid of any trace of any other culture". Peter Taylor's response was "This is what IS wants the world to see" while continuing to show footage of destruction. The programme, to my viewing, presents a large content of the groups propaganda and, IMO, this is also been reflected in blog contents attached to news items that have reported on the BBC's presentation. I think also notably the BBC's news pages and related contents do not facilitate blogs.

The BBC have long been a scandal ridden organisation which, to my mind, has a habit of losing its way. I do not understand its coverage and why it does not, at least in part, consider the interpretations many relevant groups in, amongst others, British society. GregKaye 09:49, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

As far as I understand it, "IS", "ISIL", "Islamic State" and "Daesh" all refer to the same entity. I don't see a problem with the BBC translating the original to the words most likely to be understood by its audience. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 11:26, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Stephan Schulz While the a large proportion of the Muslim world, inclusive of Sunnis, Shias and Sufis, have rejected the groups claim as being a state for all Islam and while the international community widely uses ISIL etc., the BBC makes consistent and often unqualified use of "Islamic State" or "IS". In the programme when English speaking interviewees used "ISIL" the BBC subtitles for the hard of hearing etc. naturally presents "ISIL". When an Arabic" speaking interviewee audibly says "ISIL" the fixed on screen caption presents "IS". When Daesh, which best translates as "ISIL" or "ISIS", is used by an Arabic speaking interviewee, this gets presented as "IS". Please take a look at the last move request for a view of some of the related issues. GregKaye 13:47, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you serious? "Daesh" is just the Arabic acronym FOR ad-Dawlah al-Islāmiyah fīl-ʿIrāq wash-Shām, which stands for the same thing as the English acronym ISIS. All this is clearly stated in the lede to the article on Islamic State. Daesh redirects to Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Why do you think that translating from one language to another is evidence that the BBC is deceiving us in some way? About what?? "The BBC have long been a scandal ridden organisation". What tosh. Paul B (talk) 14:12, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Paul B If you are saying that "ISIL" and "Islamic State" are carry the same political message then you are very much mistaken. If I said something in Arabic and an Arabic reporter said I had said something different I would say this was misrepresentation. GregKaye 14:22, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
They consider themselves to be Caliphate, which is why IS is sometimes used, as it implies that there are no limits to its territorial claims. It is one of the names it uses. The Nation of Islam is always called that, even though it is not the nation of Islam. It's just the name. The BBC has used various names, as the organisation has also done so. It's notoriously difficult, but creating a conspiracy over nothing will not help. Are you suggesting that this is some sort of sneaky plan by the BBC to imply that the organisation represents all of Islam? That's absurd. You could say the same of Nation of Islam. Paul B (talk) 14:29, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I am saying that the BBC should have at least a balanced response in relation to sources. The interviewer consistently used "Islamic State" in discussion with interviewees and, without this, there is no way to know if any of them would have used anything but "ISIL" or daesh. Then, even when Arabic speakers specifically say "Isil" or "Daesh", the BBC still edits to IS. This all seems nonsensical to me. As far as scandal is concerned I presume you have heard of Jimmy Saville. Do some searching on BBC bias or similar topics. GregKaye 14:39, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't see how the Jimmy Saville case reflects on the quality of the BBC news reporting. And I still don't get your point, really. Why should the BBC use several different terms for the same entity, especially when some of them are not well understood to the audience, and would likely lead to confusion? I'm reasonably educated and I follow world news, and I've not seed the term "Daesh" before this discussion. German news media fairly consistently use "IS" or "Islamischer Staat" now. If you translate from one language to the other, you have to make some choices. Why are these particular ones problematic for you? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:47, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
Jimmy Saville was a DJ and TV presenter who was associated with numerous businesses, charities and institutions. His sexual antics have next to nothing to do with the value of BBC coverage. This debate is degenerating rapidly into one of the silliest I've encountered on this board. It is quite normal to use consistency in translating variant terms, as the translation is to aid the reader. It happens all the time. Some subtle differences are inevitably lost, but clarity is important for effective communication. It remains entirely unclear exactly what you are complaining about and what action you are hoping for. Paul B (talk) 15:48, 23 April 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How is it neutral of the BBC to ignore the majority of what their various interviewees say and go their own sweet way and then to compound this with an actual misrepresentation of content that their interviewees have directly presented? GregKaye 18:59, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Absorption of Caffeine

Does this qualify for a reliable source for citing Caffeine is absorbed in stomach? Artilce is [[1]]
aGastya  ✉ Dicere Aliquid :) 17:12, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

There may be 1,000s of sources for that subject, so why to choose an unsigned article on a fitness site as a source? So, my answer is: get better sources. - Cwobeel (talk) 19:56, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Case in point after a 2 minute search: [2] - Cwobeel (talk) 19:58, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you!

Media portrayal of the Ukrainian crisis

I've got some questions regarding reliability of a number of sources quoted in this article:

  1. Euromaidan Press, a Ukrainian ultra-radical website of questionable notability that supports the Right Sector ([3], [4]), and published some extremist editorials ([5]).
  2. Left Foot Forward and Both of them are recently established websites that are probably WP:UNDUE in comparison with sources like The Guardian, Reuters, or New York Times (besides, LFF is a political blog which falls into WP:USERGENERATED).
  3. References to Stephen F. Cohen's publications in The Nation have been removed from the article as WP:UNDUE. At the same time, the article includes extensive criticism of Cohen. If he is an RS, then the article should include some citations of him, and not only his critics. If he isn't, then such lengthy critical quotations are inappropriate as well.

Thanks! Buzz105 (talk) 14:18, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

None of these are anything like neutral. They can of course be relied upon as sources for their own views. The question then becomes whether their views are sufficiently noteworthy for inclusion. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:57, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that is what concerns me about #1 and #2. #3 is noteworthy beyond doubt, but I believe it is inadequately presented in the article (almost no direct quotations by Cohen, and redundant criticism of him). Buzz105 (talk) 14:08, 26 April 2015 (UTC)


Is it acceptable to cite a columnists from the LA Times for criticisms about a company? The source is here and the discussion is here. The exact text in the article is:

Yelp also came into criticism by the Los Angeles Times in 2014 for the practice of selling competitor's ads to run on top of business listings, and allegedly offering to have the ads removed for a $75 monthly fee.[98]

So far,

  • I pointed out that the column makes it sound like Yelp is covertly offering to remove advertising from certain profiles for a fee, but this is an advertised feature of "enhanced profiles"[6]
  • @DGG: said columnists are not subject to the same editorial oversight as news articles and are intended only to represent the opinion of the author, but they can be reliable in some cases.
  • @Coretheapple: feels the source is reliable, because the author is a regular staff member of the LA Times.

With one "pro" and one "against" it being an RS, I figured I'd bring it here, especially because there are no recent discussions about columnists in the archives, so any clear consensus would help guide others doing similar searches. I have a disclosed COI on this page. CorporateM (Talk) 15:13, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

This was a reported column by a reputable journalist at a reputable newspaper. DGG is mistaken if he feels that columnists are not subject to the same editorial controls as other staff employees of newspapers. They most certainly are. However, the same article (Yelp) featured a blogger at, and the body of the blog itself stated that it was simply the opinion of the blogger, and I removed it. We need to distinguish between "citizen journalist" bloggers and reputable work by reputable journalists. However, I agree that this needs to be followed on a case-by-case basis. We do not want derogatory material in BLPs from tabloid journalists and others of shaky reputations or who are advocates. Coretheapple (talk) 15:19, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Just as Coretheapple says, this needs to be examined on a case to case basis. In any case, the authority is the columnist, not the paper. You are trying to source "Yelp also came into criticism by the Los Angeles Times in 2014 for the practice of selling competitor's ads to run on top of business listings, and allegedly offering to have the ads removed for a $75 monthly fee. (source"/. I think we should avoid "allegedly" You should avoid it by saying "Yelp also came into criticism in 2014 by David Lazarus in his column in the Los Angeles Times for the practice of selling competitor's ads to run on top of business listings, and telling businesses they could run their own ad there instead for a fee. " (because the company admitted that.) The earlier story linked there referred to fees of $150 & $300. minimum. The $75 is the report of a single business. But if they do that as a formal business practice, you should be able to find other sources also. DGG ( talk ) 15:43, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Quick note: The attribution in the sentence is certainly misleading, because "from the LA Times" would typically be interpreted to mean, depending upon the context, the news division of LAT or the editorial board. That is important because newspapers often intentionally invite op-ed columns opposing the POV of the editorial board just to present the other side of the argument (can dig up sources to back this up, if needed), and attributing such views to the newspaper would be a misrepresentation. And even regular opinion columnists can presnt a spectrum of opinion, none of which is attribuatable to the newspaper itself. Now in this case, the column is by a regular business columnist, so the situation is not as bad but the general principle still applies and it would be bet to attribute it along the lines of "in a column in LA Times, David Lazarus, ...".
I haven't had the time to take a look at the details of the claim itself. May be able to do so later today. Abecedare (talk) 16:05, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
I think that identifying the columnist as David Lazarus is the way to go in a situation like this. However, we need to identify him beyond his name, as "Los Angeles Times business columnist David Lazarus" or words to that effect. Note the wikilink - he is notable and clearly well-reputed. Coretheapple (talk) 16:36, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. And to expand on earlier comment: It would be okay for the wikipedia article to simply say, "It was reported in 2014 that Yelp sometimes displayed competitors' ads on top of business listings, and then offered businesses the option to pay a fee to run their own ad there instead." w/o needing to attribute the reporting to either LAT or Lazarus, since this is a statement of fact that is not even disputed by Yelp (we may still choose to attribute in order to give credit, but that's a different issue). However, if we wish to characterize this practice, we need to necessarily attribute that opinion to the columnist. Abecedare (talk) 21:31, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@Abecdare: I could be wrong, but I think they just remove competitor advertising, without necessarily running the business owners ads instead. A quick Google search found this source that seems to suggest that. I don't think your sentence above is representative of the source, which calls Yelp a "thug". If the source is reliable, than I think we should let it stand in a manner similar to the way it's presented in the source material, rather than watering it down so it's no longer critical like the source is. CorporateM (Talk) 23:15, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I was not clearer. I was simply trying to illustrate the circumstances in which attributing the columnist would be needed. Not actually suggesting that the we include only the statement of fact without noting why Lazarus thought the facts were troubling. Abecedare (talk) 00:01, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Columnists are not subject to the same editorial controls as other staff employees of newspapers. Hence News organizations says, "Editorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (op-eds) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact." So the only issue is weight - is the opinion significant. That depends on whether reliable secondary sources, i.e., news articles, have reported on it. TFD (talk) 17:09, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

any of these reliable sources?
CrazyAces489 (talk) 06:04, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

  • badcatrecords and discogs are already being discussed above. If a site it reliable, it is generally reliable. If not, then not. No need to check each time. All Music is generally considered a reliable source. Sundazed looks like a guy who burns recordings. Nothing making it look like a RS to me. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:29, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Is this a reliable site?

or this
or this

or this

CrazyAces489 (talk) 23:43, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

  • is clearly not a RS. Badcatrecords is a guy who makes copies of vinyl records, which sounds like it's possibly illegal. In any case, no, not a RS. Some dude, with a website, and no reputation for reliability or editorial oversight. Not sure about discogs. I'm not so sure about, but I don't see anything on that link that couldn't be sourced at Allmusic or Billboard, so why use it? Niteshift36 (talk) 23:59, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

Doesn't matter anymore, all references replaced. Since I actually enjoy improving articles, it was an easy fix. TheGracefulSlick (talk)

  • I just removed the fan site one, for the second time. The discogs one is still in use too. Niteshift36 (talk) 00:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Oh, I was referring to the albums by the band, not the band itself. CrazyAces was talking about that because all he has been doing is targeting my articles. You can do what you want with the band page, I trust an actual reliable editor like yourself. Try replacing the references if you can, it's much more helpful. TheGracefulSlick ( talk)
Lastfm contains reader-generated content (often, apparently, copied from Wikipedia). It may be reliable for discography, though that is better-sourced elsewhere: but otherwise, it cannot be seen as a reliable source. RolandR (talk) 10:33, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
And Discogs is user-submitted as well, so unreliable. Woodroar (talk) 13:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

@TheGracefulSlick: What you don't understand is that without reliable sources the articles you are creating simply wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. I went through the that problems and @Niteshift36: put me through an intensive bootcamp of what relable sources were. It annoyed me, but in the end, I understand what he was doing. I still think his tone to me was very harsh, but it helped the project. CrazyAces489 (talk) 14:09, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Short and sweet answer: No. You seem to be engaged in promoting a band you like. Bad idea. Guy (Help!) 23:08, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

The Story Siren

I don't really have an issue per se, just that I wanted this listed somewhere. I found that a review blog called The Story Siren has some links on Wikipedia. (Which I'm in the process of finding and removing.) The blog is dead now apparently but the reason it's considered unreliable is because the site was caught plagiarizing reviews from other book blogs back around 2012. The only reason the site was considered usable at one point was because it'd been quoted on a few book jackets, however this was before the plagiarism had been detected and since that point I don't think that they ever got quoted again since then. It got a pretty heavy spate of coverage when it was detected because the blog had been considered relatively well thought of until that point in time. I don't think anyone will try to re-add the sources now, but I do want to have this marked down somewhere in case someone contests the removal of these links. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 04:49, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Press releases as third party sources

If Company A issues a press release in which it details a deal or relationship with Company B, is the press release an acceptable independent source for the article about company B? Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 17:34, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

As the notes at the top of this page make clear we need to know which source is being cited for what content. Context always matters. AndyTheGrump (talk) 17:41, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
You'd have to provide the specifics to be sure, but probably not. Press releases are generally self-published and it sounds like WP:ABOUTSELF doesn't apply because it would be used to describe another organization. And the source probably isn't independent because of the deal or relationship. Companies will frequently issue press-releases promoting their business partners either to benefit from their goodwill, or as part of an agreement or joint promotion. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:44, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
So in general it would be a reliable source, but not independent, thanks.
Now for the specifics: I'm busy expanding a new stub BraunAbility. Would you folks mind doing a quick "sanity check" for the usability of these sources:
Press releases
I've also found a few "blogs" and similar "soft news" sources
Thanks Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 18:25, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The whole reason for a press release is to get coverage in the press. Then the press sources could be usable, but the original press release usually isn't. Always, apply common sense. If the Coca Cola company puts out a press release saying it has taken over "Smalltown Sodas", that is extremely unlikely to be a lie. At the same time, though, it would be news, and reported in a number of news sources that would be good sources for our article. Hope that helps. Itsmejudith (talk) 22:23, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Of the links given above only this one seems reliable to me for this, but if you're wanting to use info from the direct quote, you need to use it in a way that makes it clear it's coming from a partisan quote. Stuartyeates (talk) 03:20, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Press releases are always primary sources, because secondary sources must be independent of "the event" they are reporting on, not just the subject of the article. CorporateM (Talk) 03:46, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

They also do not establish notability. There has to be non-trivial coverage in reliable independent sources for that. Guy (Help!) 11:47, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Notability is already established with mainstream media sources, that's not an issue. This is about expanding the current stub. You guys ask for specifics but once I provided them they are ignored, can I please get an opinion (or three) about each of the listed potential sources. Roger (Dodger67) (talk) 11:46, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Red and Black Publishers

I'm trying to assess the quality of a source, [Deception by Design: The Intelligent Design Movement in America] by Lenny Flank, Jr. I have no familiarity with the publisher. This is in reference to what he says about Kent Hovind (living) on pages 56-7 and 72-4. Mostly I would like to know if this is a strong enough source to support (from page 56) the statement that "Hovind said the US government was behind the Oklahoma City bombing and knew the 9/11 attacks were coming", and a link to Sovereign citizen movement. Any more general guidance on the strength of source would be appreciated.BiologicalMe (talk) 18:11, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Haven't heard of those publishers, and looking through their website it appears that they only publish books by Lenny Flank and works in the public domain. That along with the fact that the ID book has also been published (cannot include link here since the wsbite is blacklisted) by Lulu, a self-publishing company, strongly indicates that this is a self-published book by the author, and cannot be used for a BLP claim. Abecedare (talk) 18:46, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Thank you.BiologicalMe (talk) 18:49, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Abdisalam Issa-Salwe conference paper

Would this conference paper by Abdisalam Issa-Salwe be considered a reliable source for the claim that a process of decentralisation occurred in Somalia from 1991, in the Somali Civil War article? Apparently it was also published on, but I'm unsure of the credentials of that site. Cordless Larry (talk) 17:49, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

I've now been notified that it was also republished on, if that makes a difference? Cordless Larry (talk) 18:22, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't care to try to puzzle that out, but I'll tell you how to do it. Conference papers are usually self-published sources unless the conference (or it's sponsoring organization) puts them through a peer review or similar process or publishes them after the conference in a reliable peer-reviewed journal or unless they fall under the "expert exception" to SPS ("produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications"). Many conferences do not subject the papers given there to peer review, but only a "quick look" to see if they might be of interest to the attendees, so the mere fact that it was a respectable organization or respectable conference does not mean that it was reviewed. If the papers presented there were peer-reviewed by a reliable organization or journal or if the presenter meets our definition of an expert, then it's reliable, if not or there is insufficient evidence on which to make a firm conclusion about those matters, it's not. That all goes to its reliability as a conference paper per se; I rather doubt that republication of a paper like this at eithe or would lend it reliability if it was not reliably published through the conference. Those sites, even if generally reliable (a matter which I doubt), aren't in the business of fact-checking the kind of material which is in a paper like that. At best, they've republished it on a "for what it's worth" basis, which may be enough (if they're reliable sources which, again, I doubt) to be enough to substantiate that the paper says something, but that would not be enough to use the paper to support an assertion that's in the paper, only to say, with attribution, that those sites say that the paper says it. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 18:45, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, TransporterMan. That was pretty much my understanding, although I didn't know about the "expert exception". Does anyone have a view on whether that applies to Abdisalam Issa-Salwe? He has published some books, but not with well-established academic publishers, from what I can tell, and while he's published lots of journal articles, they seem to be in the field of computer science. Cordless Larry (talk) 18:50, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd agree that it's selfpublished, and am curious why there's pressure to use inadequate sources like that. bobrayner (talk) 17:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. The discussion that the source was cited in is here if you want to take a look, Bobrayner (about half-way down the section). The same editor had previously drawn on this source, which is clearly not reliable (it's based on Wikipedia, for a start!). Cordless Larry (talk) 17:57, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Oh! That editor has had similar problems with source-misuse in the past. I hope that can be stopped soon. bobrayner (talk) 18:05, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

This discussion has made me question whether Abdisalam Issa-Salwe meets Wikipedia:Notability (academics), so I've opened an AfD discussion on him. Cordless Larry (talk) 21:25, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

Is this website a reliable source (the organization behind is called "African Holocaust Society")? Article in question: Arab slave trade - Cwobeel (talk) 16:51, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Close call, but in my opinion it is not. The site states that it exists to inject a unique point of view into studies of its subject matter. While that's laudable from an academic standpoint, the stated bias of the site makes it difficult to square it with our reliable source requirements, which exist to ensure we present information from a wp:npov. Reasonable people may disagree; I hope others will chime in. Townlake (talk) 17:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
The BIAS of the site says that despite being written by Africans it does not believe in Binarism or bad scholarship! which is more than what CNN do.
No, it is partisan, has an agenda, isn't open to writers of certain races, etc. We discussed this in '12 [7] and I don't see new information to change an assessment. Jason from nyc (talk) 12:43, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
To me is a partisan source, with a defined political agenda and It is reliable only for its own opinion, not for facts., a subpage of, is written by Owen 'Alik Shahadah, he seems to have politically and religiously bias, made statements as a fact with no reliable sources and I cannot find any academic background about him in the field besides he studied Aeronautical Engineering in London and zoology at the University of the West Indies. He is not an expert on the field. He made some independent documentaries but I don't know if that is enough. Maafa's page also uses his articles as sources. Rupert loup (talk) 20:37, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
WP:BIAS Why doesnt Jason Of NY (who has a track record of issues with this site b/c it is only open to Black writers Oh My God! ) and Rupert Loup to get SPECIFIC as I have done about the issues. According to wikipedia we must say More than what is stated above. it has an agenda. Now what in the article is this agenda, what does being political and religious bias mean. He also won a Unesco award for his work and it seems major Arab newspapers think it worthy. Strange that Ruper cant find this out just like I just did. The Black POV in an article about slavery gives Balance. Unless it is as Alison Bale says, Whiteness becomes the voice of normality for everyone and everything. So much so that You can write about Africa and not have in African independent sources. But I keep asking what specifically in that article is partisan, Bias, anymore so than Bernard Lewis, what in that article does Jason of NYC who has deep issues about the concept of Affirmative action, with Black consciousness and African voice on African affairs. So a website which only allows disenfranchised unpublished Africans is your problem? So what happens across Wikipedia, as we discussed on the issue of Somali education in the UK. is White and those who have the privilege to be published by them can speak about people, yet we (the Black or Muslim marginalized people) are not allowed to have independent views from the people who were enslaved? How many Muslim authors are on the article? How many Black people are referenced. So how can yo discuss quality and balance in a plural world? (hence the riots, years of exclusion).WP:BIAS This is clearly institutional racism in the flesh. This is why no mention of one specific thing about the article can be discussed NOT ONE! are there lies on the page, are there no references on the page, no further reading, no sources for the information? did he misquote someone. So this entire thing is dishonest and violates inclusion of plural voices on controversial subjects. Moreover even if a valid opinion on the subject why did someone delete it from the opinion and the WP:EL is there another resource with so much information. Videos in Zanzibar interviews with the late Ali Mazrui No-- so you delete it because it is Pro-Black. Well Lewis is Pro-Zionist. --Inayity (talk) 14:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Google scholar Google scholar
Al Jazerra Arab slavery
Al Akbar (not hard to find). Al Akbar Yet someone is telling us they could not find anything. --Inayity (talk) 14:16, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
And finally My entire role on Wikipedia is discussed here, the WP:BIAS racism which excludes non-White people's as valid even in their own history. This is why Nation of Islam can be attack on Wikipedia but their reply is not RS. So nothing to balance it with. One one group then speaks for the world. Read this Somali education and systemic bias
Inayity please calm down and check WP:COI and WP:OWN, advancing the aims of Wikipedia are more important that your POV, and we are not talking about race and is not mentioned here or in the Arab Slave Trade's talk page.
Anything that you said says nothing about if he is an expert on the field. Winning an UNESCO award for a film and what some newspapers think do not make him an expert on the field nor give him academic acknowledgement. Like I said before there are other africans africans authors, with academic background and better acknowledgement (by reliable african and international institutions) that addressed the issue and published books and reports about this. You are talking as if 'Alik Shahadah is the only and valid person to talk about this subject when is not by any means. The website is clearly not a reliable source as to matters of fact, and clearly has a very strong POV. It's an advocacy group and I think we should consider other sources, that can totally be africans, instead of trust in a partisan advocacy page.
And what Google Scholar bring to the discussion? the first link doesn't mention and the second is a forum. Rupert loup (talk) 17:11, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Please do not tell me to Calm down. You are yet to prove anything you said. What ever evidence is given is washed aside. You have deep issues with something about AHS. COI Oh I am black and Muslims, and you are? And do not misquote policy I did serious work on Wiki before you decided to come here. I am asking you and you refuse to answer What is this STRANGE POV? What is so strange about the POV? WHat ADVOCACY Are you on about. Why cant you answer that. What exactly on that page did he say that cannot be trusted that we used in the article? DId he say 200 Million Africans were lost ? Like one author. He said it is impossible to know ! (truth). Strange but you failed to deal with anything specific. B.c you are jumping from complaint to complaint. If you find a better source for a fact then I would give you that, but you are wholesale about deleting the entire thing. even as an EL. You mention Tunde Fatunde where is his great work on the Arab slave trade (compare the two authors), where is it in Google rank, Who is talking about him on Al-Jazeera? (big deal for an topic that hardly comes up) . Look at what came back for him he is really focused on it. WP:BIAS and issue advocacy groups can be found here Anti-defamation league, My Jewish learning. yet all of these are used with great frequency on Wiki, even in living people's bios. Someone is not disqualified from balancing something because they advocate African history. or happen not to be in the "white institutions of higher learning"/.

Inayity you make some valid points. The website server appears to be down for the moment, but how do you feel about linking to it at the top of the external links area? Middayexpress (talk) 18:34, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Before I ever became and editor on Wikipedia I knew about the site and came and found it fully integrated into that page and the link has ALWAYS been there--no issue until Jason and now the new guy. As a minority of wikipedia you know I complained about this issue before, it is sick to see an article on Arab slavery and the ONLY AFRICAN and definitely the only African Muslim is excluded because someone said he is a Muslim and defending Islam. What is wrong with defending Islam if others are allowed to defend Judaism? What is wrong with holding an African orientation when most of Wikipedia holds a Eurocentric one. It is what causes editors to retire and leave because it as we discussed WP:BIAS neutralize Balance by calling Africans Bipartisan and religious agenda (even when the man discusses with transparency and cites Bernard Lewis on the problem Islam caused), What Political agenda when the article discusses how Muslims are in denial? I am not getting it. So they looking for issues. Sorry if I am repeating but I am disappearing for a while. And just like on Malcolm X cant be bothered.--Inayity (talk) 19:02, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Hey, I understand; no need to apologize. African and Muslim scholars in this area indeed often have invaluable, unique insight. Middayexpress (talk) 19:43, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Given the number of articles posted on since it's founding in 2001, the lack of citations in scholarly journals and by reliable academic sources suggests this is little more than a vanity press for the website's founder. The few citations by journalists can hardly be an indication of the scholarly value as a source for Wikipedia. I'll ignore the ad hominem and other stuff that has no connection to the issue of this being a reliable source. Jason from nyc (talk) 03:36, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Written by Ph.D. student, published by ABC-CLIO

  • Source: Ivanova, Mina (April 30, 2013). "A Stab in the Eye of America or A Center for Multi-Faith Dialogue? Ideology and Contested Rhetorics Surrounding the Proposed Muslim Community Center near New York City's Ground Zero". In Rountree, Clarke (ed.). Venomous Speech: Problems with American Political Discourse on the Right and Left. p. 360.
  • Article: Stop Islamization of America
  • Content: SIOA is an "extreme right-wing group." (Full sentence: "Geller heads a small but vocal extreme right-wing group, called Stop Islamization of America.")

I have little experience applying WP:SCHOLARSHIP. which appears to be the relevant guideline. The author was a Ph.D. student in communications and contributed a chapter to this book edited by a communications professor. (Perhaps her advisor?) It was published by ABC-CLIO, an academic publisher whose reputation I know not. I have serious doubts about the reliability of a communication grad student's assessment of the political orientation of an organization. And I suspect that an academic publisher like ABC-CLIO would grant wide leeway to its authors on these sorts of assessments. I'd think a newspaper would be much more reliable in this context, as newspapers have to make these sorts of editorial decisions every day. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 16:51, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

The term "grad student" covers a wide range of qualifications, from fresh bachelor to just before a doctorate. In my field, a significant amount of research is done and published by what would be termed "grad student" in the US. If the work is accepted by a reliable publisher, it should be ok. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:57, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I've changed my post to make clear she's a Ph.D. student. And I found this bio. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
She has a masters degree from a decent university. I would say that makes her much more of an expert than the average newspaper reporter. The publisher will give the editor (Clarke Rountree, who is Chair of the Department of Communication Arts at UAH ) leeway. But typically, such book contributions are reviewed by the editor and/or a second reader or even peer reviewer. The Acknowledgements section of the book describes the authors "quick and gracious responses to [the editor's] notes on their scholarship", so there seems to have been a reasonable level of editorial oversight. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:28, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The fact that the article was written by a doctoral candidate (as opposed to say a professor), doesn't really effect the assessment of its reliability as many (or even most, in some fields) scholarly articles are authored/co-authored by such students. And an article written in an edited volume published by ABC-CLIO, a well-reputed academic publisher, is certainly a far superior source than a newspaper article on the topic. That said, it would be advisable to rephrase the sentence so that it does not claim in wikipedia's voice that SIOA "is" an extreme right-wing group, instead of it having been described as such. Abecedare (talk) 17:13, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Are you referring to WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV? Does this mean the attribution should identify the source, e.g. "SIOA has been described as an extreme right-wing group by Mina Ivanova, a Communications Ph.D. candidate at George State University."? That seems excessive, but otherwise we run into WP:WEASEL. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:33, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I think "has been described" with the footnote is good enough - the footnote makes the source clear. That said, we also have WP:YESPOV - do we have significant reliable sources that disagree with the assessment? --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:48, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
There are multiple reliable sources calling the organization conservative, but AFAIK this is the only reliable source describing it "extreme" right-wing or the like. I don't know if that would be considered as rising to the level of "conflicting assertions about a matter." --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:58, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't, I already gave a second academic source below and on top of that there is the categorization by British authorities.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:01, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
(after ec) Just like Stephan said, "'has been described' with the footnote" was what I was suggesting too, although the exact phrasing, position, and due-weight considerations are best discussed on the article talk page. See also, the second paragraph of WP:WEASEL, and remember that that is part of the MOS, which is meant to guide us on best writing practices; objecting to "has been described" and using a declarative "is" instead because one thinks the source is not strong enough makes no sense at all. Abecedare (talk) 18:03, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
At least at first glance that looks like reliable/reputable it is written by a working academic and ABC-CLIO is a well known/well regarded academic publisher. Reasonable personal doubt on the content in question might be starting point, but is not enough on its own. If you want to make an acceptable case for the source not being used, you would need to show that it received overall rather bad reviews and/or that it clearly contradicted the (large) majority of other reputable sources on the subject. However aside from common sense already suggesting a high likelihood for an organisation with such a name to be extreme right wing, it is rather easy to google other reputable sources confirming that assessment. In the UK for instance it is classified as a hate group by the authorities and Geller was banned from entering the country. See also [8].--Kmhkmh (talk) 17:47, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Please remember the goal here is verifiability, not truth. If we're going to use strong language such as "extreme right-wing" then that must be supported by reliable sourcing. And the reliability of the source has little to do with whether "common sense" suggests to you a high likelihood that the statement is true, or with the fact that an affiliated but separate group has been given a different label. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 18:05, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
What are you talking about? We have 2 independent reputable academic sources calling it explicitly "(extreme) right-wing" and/or "hate group". The common sense argument has nothing to do with that nor do we write content simply based on common sense. However when doubting content and sources as you apparently do in this case, it doesn't harm to apply a little common sense on those doubts and it that regard there are plenty of indicators suggesting that the description is accurate. In other words I fail to see what your doubt is actually based on.--Kmhkmh (talk) 18:36, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
The tone of Ivanova's writing is clearly analytical, not inflammatory, nor obviously POV. It seems reliable to me. Still, one or two fairly obscure secondary sources do not seem adequate to justify putting an accusation of hate speech in the voice of the encyclopedia. There is nothing wrong in such cases with wp:INTEXT attributing the characterization. It in no way diminishes the accuracy of the statement, rather it enhances it. If it should later emerge that the author had special knowledge or POV or conflict we failed to spot, it facilitates subsequent correction. LeadSongDog come howl! 21:01, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I agree more or less, but that is a separate question. Fleischmann's original question seemed to be about reputability/reliability/appropriateness/scholarliness of the source and content as such and I think this has been by several editors (íncluding you) in more or less the same way. In addition to that there may be a second question, about the best to incorporate the source's content into the article (exact phrasing, type of attribution, etc.).--Kmhkmh (talk) 21:43, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Thank you both of you for your feedback. If it makes a difference, calling an organization a "hate group" or calling it "extreme right-wing" are quite different things. There is no basis for the implication that hate is limited to the extreme right. --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 21:37, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes but since (The same) sources categorize the organization as "right wing" as well they are obviously not talking about a left hate group here. That "hate" or "hate groups" are not necessarily restricted to the right wing might be true, but it is irrelevant for given context.--Kmhkmh (talk) 21:49, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Ahh, while a MA in communications denotes a certain level of expertise about communications, it may say little if anything about her knowledge of politics. What constitutes the "extreme" right depends on where on the spectrum the point of comparison resides. To some, it might include anyone in the Tea Party, while to others, most of the KKK wouldn't be included. And yes, the ability to hate shows at both ends of the spectrum, though the objects of extreme-left hatred are generally the super-rich, who are usually in a better position to protect themselves than the reverse.LeadSongDog come howl! 22:11, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I would generally avoid the term "extreme right" because what is important is to convey to readers what the sources meant rather than just repeat their description. The term "Extreme right" has two different meanings: either to the right of the mainstream Right or as far right as one can get, i.e., neo-fascist. Sources that use the description for Geller's group, at least when the context is clear, mean it in the first sense. Many readers however would assume that the second definition is meant. Incidentally, the source is fine. It does not matter what the credentials of the author are, it is the credentials of the publishers, who ensure that the article is factually reliable. TFD (talk) 23:44, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't quite understand your position. Are you saying the source is reliable but they way it's being used is confusing and/or non-neutral? --Dr. Fleischman (talk) 17:38, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
I am saying that the source is reliable but because the term extreme right can have more than one meaning, we should only use it if it is clear what is meant. TFD (talk) 01:10, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
The book is a collection of articles edited by an academic. It should be considered reliable. I agree with TFD's remarks on the usage of the phrase but that's a discussion to have elsewhere. Jason from nyc (talk) 15:32, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Female genital mutilation

NAC:Being discussed at WP:DRN. Robert McClenon (talk) 16:25, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Please see the discussion and help resolve the conflict over what constitutes RS. The users reverting my edit claim that only UNICEF is reliable for FGM statistics while others have responded to the RfC and agreed with me that other sources (e.g. USAID, The Guardian, Al Jazeera) can be used. A consensus hasn't been reached. PolenCelestial (talk) 23:09, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

No, that's not what we said. The issue is that UNICEF conducts very thorough periodic reviews regarding female genital mutilation (worldwide), and they published certain conclusions in 2013, with more recent updates of details that show no major deviation from their 2013 conclusions. What the three editors at the talk page are saying is that it is not satisfactory to use other sources to contradict or expand UNICEF's conclusions without really good reason. Johnuniq (talk) 00:54, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Rely in one source is not a good idea, but is better to use sources of experts in the field, there are better sources than The Guardian or Al Jazeera (also I think that the use of Al Jazeera as a source is a no no), the World Health Oraganization also made reports about this. As well as Human Right Watch and Amnesty International. Rupert loup (talk) 13:46, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
I would say the more sources you have the better, so including information from USAID and the Guardian is important. In addition, it is probably not good or reliable to have UNICEF as the only source of the article, but it is important to include sources of that caliber. Like the above user said, try looking into the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. Those are both renowned organizations with reliable information. Cheers and good luck. Comatmebro ~Come at me~ 17:29, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Under discussion at Wikipedia:Dispute resolution noticeboard#Female genital mutilation. --Guy Macon (talk) 20:09, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Emereo Publishing

Via a talk page discussion, I've just become aware of Emereo Publishing, who repackage and print Wikipedia articles in "books". I know this is common, but this publisher's books are cited in quite a few articles, so I was wondering if there is a central place to report this kind of thing so that action can be co-ordinated to identify and cite Emereo sources. Cordless Larry (talk) 16:37, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

Have you tried Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/All? It's a good place to record these things, but as for getting them fixed, there's no easy solution. Other than doing it yourself, of course.   bobrayner (talk) 18:08, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, I'll take a look there, and also try to remove some of the citations to books by this publisher myself. Cordless Larry (talk) 18:18, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, Emereo is certainly not a reliable publisher, with the content largely copied from wikipedia, sometimes surreptitiously. See my comment at an earlier RSN discussion. Unfortunately, I don't know of any way to prevent them from being cited besides occasional search and clean up. Abecedare (talk) 18:32, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the heads up, Abecedare. I've now added this publisher to Wikipedia:Mirrors and forks/All. Sounds like we need to do a bit of searching and clearing up of this one. Cordless Larry (talk) 18:44, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I've dealt with 10 of them to get us started. Cordless Larry (talk) 20:49, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I'll help deal with a few. Also, the problem has been noticed before, at Talk:Character mask#Theft_of_the_article. bobrayner (talk) 22:37, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I wonder if a bot could be instructed to post messages on the talk pages of users who add citations to books by mirror publishers, asking them to find another source? I don't know much about bots, but it sounds like something that might be possible. Cordless Larry (talk) 22:45, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
It's certainly possible, although not simple, if we want the bot to watch out for all mirrors rather than just this one. We could also consider an editfilter, maybe?
Bear in mind that many citations don't mention the publisher, so keep an eye out for common patterns in book titles. Emereo seem to have a lot of titles like "Michelangelo 113 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Michelangelo", "Kevin James 153 Success Facts - Everything you need to know about Kevin James", &c. bobrayner (talk) 23:32, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Hi Bobrayner. Thanks for your thoughts. Any idea where I might go to suggest this? I don't really have any experience of bots or edit filters, so am unsure of how suggestions like this can be made. I'd be willing to learn, though. Cordless Larry (talk) 09:01, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Vice magazine usable?

I've been asked to double check about Vice Magazine. I remember bringing this site up in a few AfDs where I was told that the site was not usable as a reliable source at AfDs like this one. It looks like it's mostly because they do gonzo-style journalism and the articles are usually satirical commentaries at best and (if I remember correctly) in one case someone raised concerns that the site didn't really fact check things since it was a first person perspective of events. I don't remember which AfD it was, but at one point I was told that even reviews aren't really usable as far as RS go. Tokyogirl79 (。◕‿◕。) 04:01, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

Details matter - let us know specifics. Usually, there is no blanket condemnation of a news source or a site as 'unreliable'. Browsing the Vice website, it looks like they may be reliable for art criticism, celebrity news and social events. I'ld probably not source any economic analysis, scientific developments or statistical data to them though. LK (talk) 05:38, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
It's only anecdotal, but I've spotted major errors in Vice's coverage of international politics in the past (major as in, getting states with similar names confused!). Cordless Larry (talk) 09:27, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

This site is self-described as a "weblog" which of course seems to fail as an RS, but it gives the appearance of having a board of editors that have some credentials, so I thought I'd check if it qualifies as a newsblog or just as a group blog that shouldn't be cited. I'm just planning to use it to source the "Best of" app showcase on the App Store for 2014, which is pretty uncontroversial fact, so I don't know how picky I should be about sourcing such information-- I'd do it straight off of Apple's site if they kept some sort of archive for these "Best of (year)" things somewhere, but I couldn't find it. Thanks, BlusterBlasterkablooie! 14:18, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

May Buzzfeed sometimes be an RS? (Article about Chris Epps)

I found an article about Chris Epps by BuzzFeed:

I understand that provisions with BLP articles are under a much stricter standard than other articles. Now, Chris Epps has pleaded guilty to several charges and will face federal prison, so AFAIK the idea of whether Chris Epps is guilty or not is not a part of the consideration. Rather it's a question of whether BuzzFeed can be trusted as a reliable source, especially in regards to BLP articles. I did hear that BuzzFeed is trying to expand into more "serious" news from its own Wikipedia article. WhisperToMe (talk) 14:25, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Buzzfeed was the least trusted news outlet in a Pew poll on trust in journalism. Buzzfeed is a hybrid buisness where some of their promoted content is advertising ([9] [10]) "social" news and promoted advertising, along with a very limited amount first party reporting. Articles that don't have images on the right, and fewer ads, are the reports written for the site. Their investor slides are online - they pitch as a hybrid of an "advertising" and "media" company, with the media side making content (including reporting) and the marketing side optimising clicks, targeting and promotion. Buzzfeed only started to become serious after Ben Smith joined, and few of its articles are original reports.
Personally, I think that the stories that appear without ads on the page should be used only if an editor can't find any other website that has the same story. -- Aronzak (talk) 16:28, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
One thing I do want to do is use the article in a non-BLP way: source some info about Tchula, Mississippi. I checked the article and I don't see ads in the article itself. WhisperToMe (talk) 16:41, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Help please

I am a relative newbie and need advice please. I have read the relevant info pages on WP, but I am being told the following are not acceptable references.

  1. McLean-Williams Limited

Can someone explain why these aren't okay for me please?

Chrispanto (talk) 13:20, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Can you explain the context? What article are you trying to add these to, and in support of what material? Cordless Larry (talk) 14:14, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
It's a page on actress Rochelle Gadd - marked for deletion Chrispanto (talk) 14:22, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Can you link to it, please? It's not at Rochelle Gadd. Cordless Larry (talk) 14:32, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
User:Chrispanto/Rochelle Gadd (userfied some time after an inconclusive AfD) --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:35, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Now I'm confused. Did the AfD result in no consensus or delete? Rcsprinter123? Shii? Cordless Larry (talk) 14:38, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Cordless Larry: I don't have anything to add to the discussion, but FYI those pings to Shii and I did not work as you added them in a separate edit to when you signed. I wouldn't know about the discussion if I had not been alerted on my talkpage. Rcsprinter123 (post) @ 15:53, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Rcsprinter123. I've only recently return to editing Wikipedia after a long break and the ping feature didn't exist when I was last regularly editing. I hadn't realized that don't work on subsequent edits, but now I know. Cordless Larry (talk) 16:16, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Updated, AfD seemed conclusive after all – otherwise: ask Shii, who perfomed both the AfD close and the userfication. Note that this is not the page to determine whether or not the AfD was closed, but Chrispanto may get some explanation why the references, including a self-ref to Wikipedia's Olivia_Johnson article, are insufficient. --Francis Schonken (talk) 14:57, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Are you saying I should ask Shii for an explanation? Sorry for being thick here..... Chrispanto (talk) 15:07, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

No, the closure of the AfD is no topic of this page, as I said, so lets not get side-tracked by it any further. --Francis Schonken (talk) 15:12, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Rcsprinter123 closed the discussion as no consensus, I disagreed and reverted where after a few days it was then deleted, Hope that helps :). –Davey2010Talk 15:48, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Three parts of info are required for a listing on this page (see intro above on this page):
Some indications of what is going wrong:
  • #1 not precise enough per WP:PROVEIT
  • #5 Self-reference to a Wikipedia article (as I already mentioned above), not allowed as a reference in a verifiability logic per WP:CIRCULAR
  • #6 Youtube completely insufficient to establish notability
  • #8 seems reliable enough, but not sufficient to establish notability I suppose.
I haven't looked into the four other sources listed above, but suppose these come down to the same, i.e. insufficient precision, insufficient reliability, and/or otherwise lacking as a demonstration of notability. --Francis Schonken (talk) 16:09, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

OK thanks Chrispanto (talk) 16:12, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Just to fill in a bit more, #2 is a mere database, and #3 is a promotional agency -- obviously not a neutral source for learning about someone's notability. Shii (tock) 16:51, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

TCMDb - TCM Movie Database looks like it falls under WP:USERGENERATED, though some of the information includes an author's name. I mentioned it at Talk:Stormy_Daniels#Sources_are_poor, where I had found when looking for some sources to add that meet WP:BIO. While TCMDb external links are appropriate, especially for classic films [11], I've yet to find any detailed discussion about it as a source, but instead brief or passing mention such as [12] and [13]. --Ronz (talk) 23:18, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Bolton, Doug / The Independent Online

1. Source: "General Election 2015: The BNP has almost vanished from British politics" -

The far-right party's membership has also plummeted, currently standing around an estimated 500, compared to 4,220 paid-up members at the end of 2013.

2. Article: British National Party

3. Content:

INFOBOX Membership (April 2015): 500

Doug Bolton simply links to another article on the Independent website when referring to BNP membership figures. So why then is his article cited as a reliable source on the British National Party article?

Furthermore, the 2nd Independent article that the "source" article links to, also claims their source is simply the homepage for openDemocracy

This is an unreliable source because that is just simply the homepage of a website. Nothing about BNP membership figures on that page. I dare say, there is a page on that site that does, but the author and his source are clearly politically biased and motivated.

At this point I declare that I have an interest, I am a senior officer of the BNP.

However, as I can prove, our political party isn't being held up to the same standards as other UK political parties. Their membership stats are taken at face value from those political parties with no problem. In the case of one political party, a simple tweet from one of their own elected representatives, is cited as a source.

With the BNP it's our opponents that are being used as the source of our membership stats, not our own figures, which we submit to the electoral commission as part of our accounts. If we lie / commit fraud with those figures, our treasurer goes to jail - which is the reason why we bother to submit our figures to the commission in the first place, as such figures are beyond dispute, in so far as if anyone thinks they are wrong, they should be calling the UK authorities.

I can't prove it. But sometimes I suspect it's our opponents editing our page.

Chrisdbarnett (talk) 23:27, 4 May 2015 (UTC)

Primary or secondary source for someone being a civic mayor

I recently updated some material at Somalis in the United Kingdom, to reflect the fact that Ahmed Omer is no longer the mayor of Tower Hamlets (it previously said "incumbent", whereas he was mayor in 2009/10). I used this article from the Evening Standard to support that claim, as it clearly states Omer was "mayor of the east London borough in 2009/10". However, this was then removed and not replaced with another source. After some discussion on the article's talk page, I've managed to persuade the other editor that the period for which he was mayor needs a source, but that editor is insisting on using what I think is a primary source (this). What is the policy here? I would prefer to use the secondary Standard source, especially because it sets out the period during which he was mayor very clearly, whereas the primary source is the minutes of a meeting and requires more reading to verify the claim. Cordless Larry (talk) 08:14, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

WP:PRIMARY says: "...primary sources that have been reliably published may be used in Wikipedia; but only with care... A primary source may only be used on Wikipedia to make straightforward, descriptive statements of facts that can be verified by any educated person with access to the primary source but without further, specialized knowledge." The minutes of the town council meeting as published by Tower Hamlets council are a reliably published primary source. Therefore they can be used to say that he was major of Tower Hamlets for 2009-10.
WP:ANALYSIS says: "A secondary source provides an author's own thinking based on primary sources, generally at least one step removed from an event. It contains an author's interpretation, analysis, or evaluation of the facts, evidence, concepts, and ideas taken from primary sources. Secondary sources are not necessarily independent or third-party sources." The newspaper article you cited is a secondary source.
Both sources are good, and it would be best to cite both. The council minutes back the claim that he had been mayor of Tower Hamlets for 2009-10. The newspaper article backs the claim that (at the time of writing) he had not been mayor of Tower Hamlets any other years. (If he had been mayor in several other years, the minutes might have read exactly the same.)
For practical purposes, the minutes are more reliable than a newspaper article for this kind of question (newspapers get it wrong some of the time). Citing both is the best solution.-- Toddy1 (talk) 11:02, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, Toddy1. I did suggest citing both in the discussion, but was told "The official borough farewell ceremony is also unambiguous and adequate". Cordless Larry (talk) 11:12, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Walter Hickey / Business Insider

1. Source: Walter Hickey at Business Insider.

2. Article: National Rifle Association.

3. Content:

  • Article 1 ("Funnels"):

Criticism of the NRA and some of its leaders has grown since the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Less than half of the NRA's income is from membership dues and program fees; the majority is from contributions, grants, royalties, and advertising.

A considerable amount [of the NRA's money] comes from the gun industry...

  • Article 2 ("Most Powerful"):

The National Rifle Association is composed of four financially interconnected organizations under common leadership.

This has been discussed at the article's TP here and here with no consensus met. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

I feel that Walter Hickey is a clickbait writer. He has written articles such as "39 Photos That Prove Birthday Boy Vladimir Putin Is The Most Badass Leader In The World", "Here's The Season When Your Favorite TV Show Peaked", "7 Things That Are Worth More Than The Washington Post", and "MAPS: A Poll Asked Europeans Which Countries Were Drunkest, Hottest, And Had the Silliest Accents". I don't think he adds anything to the content he is double sourced on, and I don't think he's reliable for the sources he is the only source on. We should not be relying on him for this article. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:20, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Business Insider has come up here several times before, so I'd suggest searching the archives here using the search box provided above. I've glanced at several of the resulting hits and I think that the general conclusion is that BI is a reliable source, with this discussion summing everything up fairly well, though A Quest For Knowledge's post at 21:51, 11 December 2010, in this earlier discussion perhaps sets out the case for BI's reliability most strongly. Having said that, I'd invite you to dig through the archives yourself and you may come to a different conclusion, though I would probably come down on the side of it being reliable. As for Hickey being himself less than reliable because of being a sensationalist, we generally don't get into that kind of analysis. His profile page at BI suggests that he was a reporter at the time those articles were written, that is, not just a blogger, and we would have to presume that he was under BI's editorial oversight for any facts asserted in his articles. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 13:22, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
I believe that BI appears generally reliable. In this case the writer (apparently no longer at BI) seems less than reliable. It does indeed look like "click-bait" to me. Capitalismojo (talk) 18:25, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
The Business Insider disclaimer causes me to strike my previous statement. : "Business Insider publishes news, information, gossip, rumors, conjecture, opinions, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing the personal opinions of readers on a wide range of topics. You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong." this doesn't inspire much confidence in me. Capitalismojo (talk) 18:34, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
Yikes. That's a hell of a disclaimer. Faceless Enemy (talk) 02:49, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Question: I got smacked once here for not wording my request neutrally. Could someone clear that up please? Are questions here supposed to be worded neutrally, or are they meant to influence and persuade? Lightbreather (talk) 21:33, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

You got "smacked", as I read the RSN archive, apparently because you asked about a source and gave no context for how the ref was to be used. Hence the question was not, as one editor put it, "neutrally worded". As a rule, people who bring refs here either believe strongly that a ref is or is not a RS. They want community consensus to weigh in. In order to do that properly they should provide full context of how and where a ref/source is being used, without which the community can not respond. Generally the person bringing something to RSN explains why they think a ref is or is not reliable. That opinion may or may not be persuasive. Capitalismojo (talk) 00:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
Capitalismojo, where did you get the, "You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong." part? It's not on the page you linked to, nor can I find it anywhere on that site using a Google site search. Did you perhaps get your closing quotation mark in the wrong place? What I see the disclaimer saying is nothing objectionable: "Business Insider publishes news, information, analysis, opinion, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing personal opinions on a wide range of topics. Business Insider does not routinely moderate, screen, or edit content contributed by readers." (Bolding added, italics as in source.) That says that it's got "reported and edited" content, on the one hand, and unmoderated stuff, on the other. There's nothing remarkable about that, most every major news source is going to have something similar. Since this author was a reporter at the time, there's no reason to suspect that his stuff didn't come under editorial supervision. Stuff from his articles should be reliable. Labeling his work as click-bait is determining its reliability by its quality and presumptions about its purpose and that's the very kind of evaluation that V is intended to avoid. Those questions may (or may not) be suitable in deciding how much weight to give stuff from his articles, but they don't determine reliability. On the other hand if their disclaimer actually says, in an official kind of way, the stuff about "you should be skeptical" I'll be the next person up on the bandwagon to say this site is not a reliable source for anything other than information about itself (and maybe not even that). Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:24, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
I followed the URL that Capitalismojo gave yesterday - - and I did see the surprising sentence in question, so I sent an email to Business Insider immediately to see what they have to say. I have not heard from them yet, but the link - which I believe s/b - does not include the sentence. I believe that URL was an old hack floating around.
As TransporterMan wrote, what shows in the disclaimer now is common on websites that accept input from readers. Lightbreather (talk) 16:44, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
No surprise, of course, but FTR, the question that I emailed to Business Insider was:
I am a Wikipedia editor and there is currently a discussion here about whether or not Business Insider is a reliable source. Would someone please comment?
The answer from CEO and editor-in-chief, Henry Blodget:
Thanks for reading.
I have also notified Walter Hickey, who now writes for FiveThirtyEight, of this discussion as a courtesy.
--Lightbreather (talk) 01:36, 18 April 2015 (UTC)
You gotta be kidding, what other answer did you expect? D'oh! --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:47, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
I think their CEO is going to be pretty biased as to whether Wikipedia should be linking to his site. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
Capitalismojo if you read what it says in that archive, you missed what I originally wrote - which I modified because another editor said it should be worded neutrally. But rather than gum-up this discussion further, I will start a separate discussion on this board'd talk page. Lightbreather (talk) 17:04, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I think Hickey is a clickbait, sub-standard reporter. However, I also think that BI's disclaimer about things contributed by readers is mainly referring to things placed in the comment sections. BI doesn't necessarily moderate those and their language looks like an attempt to protect themselves from anything said by a user, not as a commentary on their reliability of their actual reporters. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:11, 16 April 2015 (UTC)
@Niteshift36: the first paragraph of their website disclaimer addresses their own articles: "Business Insider publishes news, information, analysis, opinion, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing personal opinions on a wide range of topics." The part about "unmoderated posts" seems to point to some writers publishing things without editorial oversight. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
One of the biggest problems I have with using the first article ("Funnels") is that Hickey makes several factual errors:
The misspellings show he doesn't actually know the industry he's talking about, and the massive factual error is even worse. Faceless Enemy (talk) 19:23, 19 April 2015 (UTC)
Those names should've been caught by his BI editor, which is something of a ding, but not uncommon. Also, $1.3 million IS millions. Also, as the article currently shows, Hickey wasn't and isn't the only one pointing out the significant amount of money the NRA gets from the Gun Industry. Lightbreather (talk) 01:25, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: I would be fine with something minor, like "Cabellas" or an obvious typo like "Strum Ruger", but those particular (repeated) misspellings show he isn't even familiar with how the companies involved are pronounced. And $1.3 million isn't "millions" in the same way that 13 isn't "dozens." Also, that doesn't address the present tense phrasing in 2013 of a program that ended in 2012. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
The nub of his report is supported by Robison and Crewdson (Bloomberg), Kiely (, and Sugarmann and Langley (Violence Policy Center), though the reports focus on different details, they all agree on the scope of the industry's support of the NRA. Lightbreather (talk) 02:11, 21 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: then why bother using Hickey at all? All he's doing is (sometimes incorrectly) parroting better sources. I tracked those down and added them to the article, so it's not like we're hurting for sources. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)

Comment - Has anyone considered that this is a NON-issue? It should be no surprise that a lobbyist group receives money from the industry it represents. In this case the NRA receives money from... Wait for it... wait for it... shocking announcement to come... (spoiler alert!!!) Receives from from gun manufacturers, sporting goods manufacturers, ammunition manufacturers, sporting goods retailers, and the list goes on. OMG! This is so NOT a ground-breaking revelation.

Guess what, the National Automatic Merchandising Association, the lobbying group for the vending machine industry, receives money from Coke, Pepsico, Mars (the candy company, not the planet), and so on. I'm sure this is abhorrent to someone, but please get over it. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 02:47, 21 April 2015 (UTC)

@Scalhotrod:, this discussion really belongs on the article TP, but the short version is that the NRA is supposed to be a gun owners lobby, not a gun manufacturers lobby. Their interests are almost always aligned (like those of the Campaign for Real Ale and the Society of Independent Brewers), but gun control advocates like to portray the NRA as a puppet of the industry. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:10, 22 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Let me get this straight. We are having a discussion about the reliability of a source, Lightbreather goes to the publisher and begins communications which result in changes to the source's disclaimer to make it appear more reliable? That is crazy and not the proper way to resolve a RSN discussion. Really? Go to the source and get them involved in RSN discussions, suggest changes to make it look more reliable? COI much? I am appalled. Capitalismojo (talk) 03:04, 23 April 2015 (UTC)
The text at both of those disclaimer links appears to be identical. In particular, the sentence "You should be skeptical of any information on Business Insider, because it may be wrong" appears on neither link - it seems to have disappeared. Odd. Ca2james (talk) 04:55, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

TransporterMan, could you make a call on this Business Insider/Walter Hickey question, or ask an admin to make a call? It's been 10 days, and I'd like to move on. Lightbreather (talk) 16:55, 24 April 2015 (UTC)

BI's own disclaimer that they publish garbage should be enough of a warning that its not a reliable source. WeldNeck (talk) 17:30, 24 April 2015 (UTC)
They have no such disclaimer. Like many other news sites they do say that they do not "routinely moderate, screen, or edit content contributed by readers" - but that is NOT about their own writers. Lightbreather (talk) 00:44, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: as mentioned above, the first paragraph of their new disclaimer addresses their own articles: "Business Insider publishes news, information, analysis, opinion, and commentary. The site includes both reported and edited content and unmoderated posts and comments containing personal opinions on a wide range of topics." The part about "unmoderated posts" seems to point to some writers publishing things without editorial oversight. Faceless Enemy (talk) 19:50, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Hickey's work at BI fell under the "reported and edited" content. If you or I went to the BI website and posted a comment, that would fall under "unmoderated posts and comments." Lightbreather (talk) 20:04, 25 April 2015 (UTC)
Also, what are you calling the "new disclaimer"? The disclaimer at this link - "" - is the same as it was on April 15. The "disclaimer" that Capitalismojo reported on April 15[15] - "" - did change... and I still think that one was a hack. Lightbreather (talk) 20:21, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

FWIW, tiring of these guesses, I wrote to Hickey directly and asked him if his work for Business Insider was edited, and he gave three names. One now works at Vice News, one now works at The New York Times, and one now works at Bloomberg. He said all of his work went through one of these three editors.

His errors were spelling errors (for Cabela's and Ruger), which his editors should have caught. (In his reply, he didn't capitalize "the" in The New York Times, so he obviously needs an editor for spelling and style.) His BI bio says that he graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Applied Mathematics, and said his interests include statistics, research and data mining. (I think, like myself and many others, he would agree that $1.3 million IS millions, even though Faceless Enemy and others may think that it's not.) Is this Pulitzer material? No. But I do not believe strong evidence has been presented that this writer is unreliable. Lightbreather (talk) 22:23, 25 April 2015 (UTC)

Taking this off my watchlist, so please ping me if necessary. Lightbreather (talk) 17:24, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: You're continuing to ignore the fact that he mistakenly said that Ruger's NRA program was ongoing almost a year after it had ended. And "millions" is, at best, unintentionally misleading. I think it's more likely a symptom of ignorance. And again, typos like those he made aren't just typos - they're evidence that he's very unfamiliar with his subject matter. Faceless Enemy (talk) 19:13, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Back in a moment to address your position that Hickey said that Ruger's NRA program was ongoing almost a year after it had ended. As for the "millions" thing:
  • millions - an extremely large but unspecified number, quantity, or amount that is greater than one million. Source: Collins English Dictionary at
  • millions - a number between 1,000,000 and 999,999,999, as in referring to an amount of money. Source:
  • millions - The numbers from a million to a billion. Source: Oxford Dictionaries at
--Lightbreather (talk) 20:02, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: The first definition you're citing is explicitly cited as informal (as in "I have millions of people coming over later."), and the next two definitions you cited both have "in the" in all of their example sentences. Hickey didn't say that "Ruger's donation to the NRA was in the millions of dollars." He said "Sturm Rugar [sic] gives $1 to the NRA for each gun sold, which amounts to millions." The way he's using it, he is referring to multiple millions - a minimum of $2,000,000.00. I hate to go down this rabbit hole even further, but is there a "grammar 3rd opinion" noticeboard we can take this particular sub-question to? You and I have been going back and forth over this for a while, and if there is an expert outside opinion available let's just use it and move on. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:31, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the fact that Hickey wrote "gives" rather than "gave" in his sentence about Sturm-Ruger's million-gun challenge. Yes, he should have put that in the past tense. However, we are not using this article to source what is written in the article about Ruger's campaign. We cite: "Do Assault Weapons Sales Pay NRA Salaries?". 2013-01-15. We use the article in question to support these three statements:
  • Less than half of the NRA's income is from membership dues and program fees; the majority is from contributions, grants, royalties, and advertising.
  • A considerable amount comes from the gun industry....
  • Criticism of the NRA and some of its leaders has grown since the December 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Therefore, I still see no evidence here to label Hickey's January 2013 article as unreliable. Lightbreather (talk) 20:58, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
[NB: I am splitting Lightbreather's comment here for readability; if this is against TP guidelines, please undo and let me know on my talk page] I already added other sources for statement #1, you added additional sources for statement #3, and I would argue that statement #2 is WP:EDITORIALIZING. An article this short with this many errors isn't reliable enough to stand on its own, and it doesn't add anything in the places we are using it. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:31, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
I've been noticing this lately. What does "NB" mean? You added one source (not "sources") for #1, statements (like #3) can have more than 1 source, and the editorializing guideline is something for WP:NPOVN. In fact, none of these arguments have to do with deciding whether or not Business Insider or either of the articles in question are RS. Lightbreather (talk) 14:14, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
@Lightbreather: NB means nota bene. Faceless Enemy (talk) 14:52, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
Also, An article this short with this many errors? The article is 660 words and has two spelling errors and one tense error. Again, is it Pulitzer material? No. Is it unreliable? I don't think you or I are presenting anything new re reliability. Lightbreather (talk) 14:27, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
As for his December 2012 story, which is the sole source for "The National Rifle Association is composed of four financially interconnected organizations under common leadership." Was that statement and article discussed on the article talk page? Honestly, that talk page is so long, I don't know. Did that statement and article get discussed here? Is there a beef with how the top of Organizational structure and finances defines/presents the NRA's structure? It's structure is quite complex, and if you've got a not-NRA, neutral source that lays out its structure, I'm open to suggestion. But again, I don't see evidence that the article used is unreliable. Lightbreather (talk) 20:58, 29 April 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it was discussed on the article TP. My problem with using this article is that the other article is so terrible - same author, same "editors", same publication. If it was unreliable before, it's unreliable again. As to replacing it, another potential source is here. I don't think using the NRA as a source for that particular statement would be unreasonable either - it's a pretty innocuous issue. The statement in question isn't particularly controversial, but if we need good sources for it I'd be happy to track those down. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:31, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
So add the NRA source, without replacing the existing source. The reader will have two sources to refer to, if they wish. Lightbreather (talk) 14:17, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
This begs the question of what exactly an editor at does - do they say "oh no, that particular thing isn't mildly infuriating, take your listicle down to 12 things?" They're obviously not bothering to check facts or spelling. Having Hickey's articles go through an editor only matters if that editor actually edits. Faceless Enemy (talk) 12:31, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes. Whomever edited the "funnels" article missed two spelling errors and a tense error. So the question is, and after this lengthy discussion I wish some uninvolved editor would speak up: Is this article a RS for what it's used for? Lightbreather (talk) 14:27, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

I'm taking this board off my watch list. Too much on my plate right now. Ping me if it's absolutely necessary, but honestly, I think there's enough here for an uninvolved editor to close it. Since consensus remains unclear and the issue is a contentious one, I suggest the advice at Requesting a close. Lightbreather (talk) 16:44, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

By my count we have one editor (Lightbreather) saying these articles are reliable, three (me, Capitalismojo, and WeldNeck) saying they are unreliable, and 5 (TransporterMan, Niteshift36, Scalhotrod, Short Brigade Harvester Boris, and Ca2james) providing other input. Would those 5 please offer a firm opinion as to whether these articles are reliable sources? Faceless Enemy (talk) 14:43, 3 May 2015 (UTC)

  • Unusable - We are talking about two stories and one particular writer who has 1) a questionable track record for their writing (i.e. clickbait and bad research, Ruger program had ended) and is known to editorialize and 2) either they or their story checker is sub par given the number of basic writing errors (spelling, et. al.). Combine this with the tainting of the source starting with its CEO along with its bizarre "subject to change if emailed about it" oversight policy. This to me makes these stories insufficient for use on WP and makes even the most basic of facts subject to uncertainty. --Scalhotrod (Talk) ☮ღ☺ 15:36, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable, but better used with other sources Looking through the RSN archives, one of the major problems with Business Insider is that blog posts are repackaged as articles without attribution. This is not the case here. Another issue that's been brought up here is that Hickey's writings are click-bait; however, he has an article in The Atlantic and the second article, above, is used as a reference in several books. The other issue is the typos, which indicate a poor spell checker but do not necessarily indicate a lack of editorial oversight. Therefore, the sources do appear to be reliable for the specified text. However, since there is some dispute over these sources and other sources are available, it would be better if the other sources were used in addition to these. I do have concerns about the specific wording being used but that's being brought up on another noticeboard. Ca2james (talk) 18:18, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment Contacting a publisher or editor and asking if the publication is reliable without defining "reliable" is misleading and results in a meaningless answer. Wikipedia has a very specific definition of "reliable" that almost certainly does not correspond to any other person or site's definition of the term. To be clear, I'm sure that asking the question this way was just an oversight. However, if anyone else is thinking about contacting a source to determine whether it's reliable, not defining "reliable" could look like an attempt to mislead the contact in an effort to get the desired answer and thus to sway discussion. Ca2james (talk) 18:18, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Reliable, but... I largely agree with Ca2james, above. We have to remember that verifiability, which rests on reliable sources, is a threshold standard. Being verifiable, i.e. having a reliable source, merely means that the material is not excluded from inclusion. Whether it should be included is a different question revolving around NPOV/undue weight, relevance, importance and other issues, some of which take into consideration the quality and number of reliable sources. One of the things which need to be considered there is that if there is only one source for a piece of information, that may suggest that the information is not important enough to be in Wikipedia and that's particularly true if the information is disputed or controversial or if the source is just marginally reliable. By saying that I think this source is reliable for the points made above simply means that I don't think that the information should be automatically excluded because the source is not reliable; whether it should be included is a entirely additional matter (and one about which I express and have no opinion). Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 17:57, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

The Futon Critic and Zap2it

Both of these sources can be reliable at times, but not 100%. Both of those sites have some inconsistencies that should be talked about. Zap2it is probably a little more reliable to the cancellation of television shows then some other sites and FC is more reliable on dates and times of airings of future episodes then some of the other sites.. Problem is with FC is that they can make errors in episode title names at times and Zap2it has some issues. Both FC and Zap2it are at times both reliable and inconsistent, there are at times you have to correct information on which part of the sites. So that's why we should discus BattleshipMan (talk) 16:59, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

For anyone wondering, this stemmed from this. I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish here. Both sites are perfectly reliable and widely used across Wikipedia, so I don't understand what "inconsistencies" need to be talked about. You have to bring actual examples or there's nothing to discuss. Both websites primarily post press releases they receive from the networks; in that case, neither is more reliable than the other, they're the same because the source is the network itself, not the website. Errors regarding episode titles or air dates, etc. is on the network's side, not the website; all episode press releases on The Futon Critic contain the following message: "[NOTE: The following article is a press release issued by the aforementioned network and/or company. Any errors, typos, etc. are attributed to the original author. The release is reproduced solely for the dissemination of the enclosed information.]" (example). Drovethrughosts (talk) 17:59, 6 May 2015 (UTC)
I would need to see a significant body of evidence before I would begin to question Futon Critic's reliability. It's been widely accepted as a reliable source for some time, and the reasoning questioning it, with all due respect, is wishy-washy at best. --Drmargi (talk) 19:52, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

Is Christian Daily a relibable source? It is used to make claims about Christianity in a number of articles, including Anti-Christian sentiment and Assyrians in Syria Joseph.

It does have an editorial board and a paid staff of reporters (although I note that many of its stories are reprints from Reuters and other outlets). So I would say it qualifies as a legitimate news outlet (with all the usual caveats that go along with that) and is not a SPS. Whether it is reliable for a specific statement, made in a specific article is another question. Even the most respectable news outlet can be used inappropriately. so... Could you provide such specifics? Blueboar (talk) 13:07, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
On their website, I see no specifics about an editorial board. Can you give a link? It is not a mainstream news source. If they reprint Reuters articles, then we should cite from the Reuters article. The reprinting could possibly be illegitimate. the source was used in Anti-Christian sentiment and Assyrians in Syria (I'm not disputing the content itself, but the source used, which should be mainstream acaedmic or mainstream, news sources, not fringe religious sources.) Joseph.
They list two editors on their About Us page. I make no judgement whether two is enough for a "board". -Nat Gertler (talk) 13:54, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
On a side note, after a cursory examination, much of the Anti-Christian sentiment article appears to be original research conducted by Wikipedia editors by cobbling together a series of unrelated primary sources (i.e. news reports} and concluding that the content of these sources constitute "anti-Christian sentiment" even if the sources never say such a thing. This might be one of those cases where it's easier to fix the article by starting over from scratch, rather than try to fix it piecemeal. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 14:43, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
No. None of the stories in the paper are picked up by other news sources and none of the board write for other publications and I can find no mention of any of them. While religious publications may be acceptable, the wording of their "Statement of Faith" is extreme. TFD (talk) 17:00, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
On a related note, what about the christian post? The Christian Post seems to belong to the same "Christian Media Corporation Company" [16], has the same "Statement of Faith" as the Christian Daily [17] and is a Global Partner of the World Evangelical Alliance.
The Christian Post seems at least to have a larger editorial board than it's sister website "Christian Daily", but should such a religious source be used on wikipedia to make claims about Christianity? It is used in many wikipedia articles. Joseph. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 17:21, 26 April 2015‎
The deletion on the talkpage was unintentional. Wikipedia did it maybe because I edited the article, not the section. Joseph.
  • Christian Daily looks like a RS to me. The claim that nobody on the board writes for other publications....when did that become a requirement? Not sure about whether they get picked up by other publications, but my local paper doesn't get picked up by others very often either. Still a reliable source. Google News does index them routinely. Yes, I know that doesn't make them reliable, but it's as much an indicator as the absence of writers writing elsewhere. As for the Christian Post, it's as much a RS as most news outlets are. Niteshift36 (talk) 19:37, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
It is not a mainstream news source. Every third rate news website can get indexed at Google News. Questionable sources include websites and publications expressing views that are extreme (see the comment above: "the wording of their "Statement of Faith" is extreme") or that are promotional in nature (they are part of the World Evangelical Alliance).
I cannot see how Christian Daily should be used, when the same information is available from reliable news sources like Reuters. Joseph.
  • Please look at what I said. I was plenty clear when I said that being indexed by Google news " doesn't make them reliable". Second, Christian Post is fairly mainstream, but being mainstream isn't a criteria for judging reliability at all, so again, no impact on what I said. Their statement of faith isn't extreme and having one doesn't disqualify them. Lastly, calling it "promotional" is unrealistic and not how that phrase "promotional in nature" was intended. And Joseph, please sign your responses properly, with the 4 ~'s Niteshift36 (talk) 20:59, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
    • Actually, being mainstream is a criteria in certain situations, eg when citing them for academic facts: "Reliable non-academic sources may also be used in articles about scholarly issues, particularly material from high-quality mainstream publications"; and, when citing them for their opinion: "A prime example of this is opinion pieces in mainstream newspapers." Beyond that they need a "reputation for fact-checking and accuracy"; while it's certainly possible for non-mainstream sources to have that, I tend to think that it's worth giving them a harder eye, since niche publications are often successful because they appeal to a group who reads them due to tribal identity and not their reputation -- that is, when a source is very popular with a wide range of audiences, that often implies a degree of reliability, but when it's popular only with one small audience it could imply that it's just good at pleasing that audience, so I would want to see what people outside that audience think about it before I'd accept it as a source for statements of fact. In this case, I don't feel that they ever meet the standard necessary to cite them for facts; for opinions, whether they're mainstream among Christians (and therefore worthwhile to cite for the opinions of typical Christian voices) is absolutely central to whether they're a reliable source on those opinions. --Aquillion (talk) 05:06, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I would consider the Christian Daily and the Christian Post to effectively be the same publication, since they're part of the same company. They're certainly not in competition. Unlike the Christian Science Monitor, I would not recommend citing them for general news stories or to establish notability. They probably are reliable for claims that:
  • do not conflict with more reliable sources,
  • are given full attribution ("According to a writer at the Christian Daily,"),
  • are about Christians, treatment of Christians, Christianity, and perception of it
  • are not self-serving and do not promote any particular sect.
@The Four Deuces: how is their statement of faith extreme? While it's not exactly a statement of faith I'd subscribe to, it is pretty typical of common evangelical protestant belief (especially the sort that would create a newspaper focused on Christians) and it is absent of any particular politics. The only reason L'Osservatore Romano doesn't have a similar statement of belief is because they're so obviously attached to the Vatican and only the Vatican. Despite this, the Christian Daily's coverage is not exactly ideological. They referred to a transgendered individual by his preferred gender (if dumbed down the explanation and explained Southern Baptist Convention's thoughts on it), and demonstrated that many Christians disagree with Franklin Graham's anti-LGBT rhetoric. Their sections on persecution and justice (or rather, injustice) are completely absent of conspiracy theories about Shariah law in the West, schools confiscating Bibles, the ACLU sending in jack-booted lawyers after Christians who pray at home, or other such nonsense. If they're pushing any particular ideology, it looks to be a fairly moderate one.
I could be wrong about it being a reliable source under the right circumstance, but the statement of faith by itself is no reason to dismiss it. Ian.thomson (talk) 20:50, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • The notion that merely having a statement of faith disqualifies a source is absurd. Niteshift36 (talk) 20:59, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Niteshift, you said your local paper does not get stories picked up very often. But local papers' stories do get picked up when they are of significance outside their areas. Anyway, we should not assume that the source is reliable when no evidence has been presented that it is seen as reliable by third parties. Ian thomson, the statement, "The unrighteous will be consigned to Hell, the place of everlasting punishment" is extreme for a news source. Compare it with the Christian Science Monitor[18] or that of any other reliable source supported by a church. TFD (talk) 21:02, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
The Catholic church has comparable teachings about hell, but no one would doubt that L'Osservatore Romano would be reliable for the statement about Catholics, Catholicism, and even Vatican city and Christianity in general. While their views on hell are the biggest issue I have a problem with in their statement of faith, doubting their reliability over that is like doubting a Buddhist newspaper because they affirm a belief in reincarnation. It has absolutely nothing to do with their coverage. If they said "we believe the earth is 6000 years old and created in 6 days," that would show that they have problems with science (if not common logic). "We believe in hell" is irrelevant. If it was young earth creationism or anti-vaxxerism, it'd totally be relevant. What happens after one dies is not.
Does their attitude toward hell disgust me? Yes. Does that have anything to do with whether or not they're reliable? No. Ian.thomson (talk) 21:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
As an aside, the Catholic church's teachings about hell are not comparable; as I understand it, current Catholic teachings (at least as John Paul II put it) are that biblical references to hell are symbolic language for people who have willingly separated themselves from communion with God, and not a literal physical place of punishment. But beyond that, we would not rely on the Catholic church as a news source; that is, we wouldn't cite it for facts about anything outside of Catholic doctrine. If we wanted to show that Catholics in a particular area were being oppressed, say, we could cite the Catholic Church for the official Catholic opinion on that, but we couldn't cite it for factual evidence -- we would need to go to reliable new sources for that. I think that a strong statement of faith puts a publication in that category; they are clearly "biased or opinionated", which, as WP:RS says, does not disqualify them as a source, but does mean that we have to take their bias into account and should generally use in-text attribution. "So-and-so, bishop of the Catholic Church says that Catholics in China are persecuted" is fine; "Catholics in China are persecuted[4]", where the source is to the Catholic church is absolutely not acceptable, and I'd treat this source the same way... with the very important caveat that the Catholic church's opinions are clearly and unequivocally always relevant for Catholic matters, while it requires a lot more work to determine which specific protestant / evangelical opinion sources are most relevant in that sphere (and I don't think that this source meets the reputation threshold that would be necessary for it to be an unequivocally acceptable source for facts about protestant / evangelical dogma the way the Catholic church is the obvious source for statements of fact on Catholic dogma.) Basically, we can cite a source like this for opinions (with in-text attributions), never for facts. --Aquillion (talk) 05:18, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Yes, there is a local paper that is rarely picked up by other sources. That fact doesn't make them less of a reliable source. You've shown nothing to indicate that the Christian Post or Christian Daily lack editorial oversight. You've shown no evidence that there is a lack of accuracy or a reputation of inaccuracy. You seem to be hanging your hat on the statement of faith. While your personal opinion might be that the statement sounds extreme, my opinion is that it's not extreme. More importantly here, is Wikipedia guidelines. WP:BIASED says "...reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective." and "While a source may be biased, it may be reliable in the specific context. When dealing with a potentially biased source, editors should consider whether the source meets the normal requirements for reliable sources, such as editorial control and a reputation for fact-checking." So I ask you, do you have any evidence that there is a lack of editorial control or evidence that the source lacks a reputation for fact checking? Niteshift36 (talk) 21:18, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Your argument is that we should trust anything posted on the internet unless someone provides conclusive proof that it is unreliable. The only proof I can offer is a negative one - that no reliable sources rely on them. And if nothing they report is ever picked up by anyone, there is no reason why we should. TFD (talk) 21:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • I said no such thing and you know that I didn't. Stop being absurd. There is evidence of editorial oversight. Do you have evidence that there is none? You've still provided nothing to call into question their accuracy or show any RS that has questioned their accuracy. Your opposition sounds more like WP:IDONTLIKEIT than a policy based opposition. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • BTW, I personally put little stock in the religious holdings of the CSM, and they downplay their own faith input. However, they are owned by the Christian Science church. Their teachings aren't drastically different [19] in many regards. I did look at some other Christian News outlets with statements of faith. CBN isn't much different [20]. Christianity Today (which is both online and print) is also similar [21] except that instead of Hell, they use the verbiage "...the wicked shall be condemned to eternal death." Niteshift36 (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • So TFD, you said "nothing they report is ever picked up by anyone". It didn't take too long to find this [22], Christianity Today citing the Christian Post. So we can show that your statement is not accurate. Niteshift36 (talk) 22:00, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Also citing the Christian Post is the Latino Post [23], [24]. Oh, also came across a Fox News site running an OP-ED piece from the Christian Post. [25] Niteshift36 (talk) 22:10, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

When I went to their web site to check this out, I couldn't help but notice the ads for testosterone boosters and "a seduction technique women can't resist." Hmm... Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:34, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

  • You see those same sort of ads on the websites for Gannett papers, Entertainment Weekly, the NY Daily News and any number of reliable sources. The fact that they sold the advertising part to a third party has zero to do with editorial oversight or accuracy. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:48, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
  • That was pointless and did nothing to tell anyone why the ads have any bearing on this discussion. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:40, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

I'd say, "use with caution", and fully attribute the POV expressed by this website. - Cwobeel (talk) 21:50, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Niteshift36, those are not examples of other publications "picking up stories". When Toronto mayor Rob Ford was in the news last year, news articles published in Canadian news media were also published in U.S. news media, probably including your own local paper, because unless you live in Toronto, it probably does not have a Toronto correspondent. Of course they would only choose to reprint stories from reputable news sources. Can you point to any example where a reputable U.S. publication has decided to reprint an article on a piece of religious news that the Christian Daily originally reported on? Incidentally, your argument that we should just have faith they are reliable unless there is third party evidence they are not is not a good approach. TFD (talk) 13:48, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
  • When they quote the CP, they're "picking it up" to a degree. You pretend like they operate in a vacuum. First we were discussing Christian Daily, then Christian Post too. Then an editor said that they're effectively the same outlet. After I talk about the CP several times and show you examples of them being used as a source in other media, now you want to talk only about the Christian Daily. Why am I not surprised? And continually misstating my position won't make yours right. I've said to take nothng on faith. I've said that there is evidence of editorial oversight AND no evidence of a reputation for inaccuracy. I can show you examples of NBC, The NY Times, The New Republic and the WaPo straight out fabricating articles, yet we correctly consider them to be reliable sources. You have no evidence that either source has ever posted anything fabricate, inaccurate or reliable third party criticism of their reputation. With the editorial oversight AND (yeah, bold and caps since you keep acting like I'm saying something different) no reputation for inaccuracy, you need more than an unsubstantiated opinion. Niteshift36 (talk) 21:40, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
Well, they do operate in a vacuum, their articles are not picked up by wire services. Sure their articles may be quoted just as the views of people outside the mainstream are often quoted. I am only talking about them and not Christian Post, because that is the subject of the discussion thread. It does not help that you defend the source by mentioning how often mainstream media is wrong. When mainstream media are wrong, it is news and they correct their errors. TFD (talk) 23:59, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Once again, you ignore what I say and instead fabricate something. I didn't defend the source by saying the MSM is wrong. I said we have proof of times when they weren't just wrong, but actually FALSIFIED stories, yet they are still reliable sources for the most part. But we do have evidence of their falsification (not errors my friend, lies). You can't even come up with evidence of errors on the CD or the CP. And articles don't have to get picked up by wire services (which is going the way of the dodo) to make a source reliable. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:20, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

I don't know why you insist on following side issues. The fact is we know nothing about and unless evidence is provided that it is reliable, there is no reason to believe it is. What does that not appear reasonable to you? TFD (talk) 03:51, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

  • Because they do appear to have editorial oversight. They are affiliated with another outlet that also has editorial oversight, notable people that write for them and get mentioned in MSM sources. Neither site has any evidence of having a reputation of inaccuracy. In the end, you simply don't like it and apply some fake requirement of "nobody picks up their stories". You haven't shown a single shred of evidence to call their accuracy into question, despite many requests to do so. Instead, you chose to fabricate things that you claim I used as reasoning. Truthfully, I think it's their religious views that you bother you and rejecting them here is part of that. Niteshift36 (talk) 01:49, 3 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree with TFD on this point; we don't yet have a good reason to consider it reliable. bobrayner (talk) 17:16, 2 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Do you have a single reason to question the reliability of the editorial oversight?— Preceding unsigned comment added by Niteshift36 (talkcontribs)
  • I don't think they seem credible as a source for statements of fact. Simply listing the (few) editors they have isn't enough to qualify a source; it needs a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, which I don't feel it has (few people here seem to have heard of it, the people who have don't seem to have a high opinion, and a Google search turns up little that would fill in those blanks.) They could be cited for their own opinions when those opinions are relevant, but I would be hesitant even then, since I think there are higher-profile Christian periodicals that can fill that role. It absolutely cannot be used to source things that are stated as fact in Wikipedia's voice, only to source opinions explicitly attributed to it or its writers in-text. If people want to say otherwise, they need to cite awards it has won, citations to it, and so on, ideally from independent reputable sources; I'm not seeing any of those here. --Aquillion (talk) 04:57, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

The Mary Sue Disclaims Itself as an Unreliable Source

DISCLAIMER The Mary Sue publishes news, information, gossip, rumors, conjecture, opinions, analysis and commentary. The Mary Sue includes original, created, fictional, reported and edited content as well as unmoderated reader posts and/or comments containing the personal opinions of readers on a wide range of topics. The information set forth herein may not necessarily be accurate or current.

The Mary Sue does not routinely moderate, screen, or edit content contributed by readers and is not responsible for the opinions or statements of contributors.

Regardless of the above, The Mary Sue has been cited on Wikipedia in various articles as a reliable source. This source should be officially deemed Unreliable so as to settle any such claims and issues which may arise.— Preceding unsigned comment added by Calbeck (talkcontribs)

That's actually a pretty standard disclaimer on most websites. Hell, most "proper" news sources hammer home that they're for entertainment purposes only that one might as well regard Fox News as a fictional commentary on a reality. The reader generated content appears to mean the comments section.
They have a board of editors, which makes it more likely that articles (not comments on them), particularly those by staff, are reliable. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:57, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm not reading the disclaimer that way, nor am I familiar with similar disclaimers in any sources that we'd consider reliable. --Ronz (talk) 19:58, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
The comment policy expressly notes that staff can and will moderate and edit reader comments/posts under given circumstances. The disclaimer is simply a standard note that they're not obligated to do so, which places the site under the safe-harbor protection of Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, preventing the site from ever being held liable for publishing such statements under U.S. law. Pretty much every website which allows open content contribution has a similar statement. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:47, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Unreliable given the disclaimer, it should not be considered as a reliable source within Wikipedia. --Ronz (talk) 20:00, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
  • The website as a whole, or sub-sections within it, may or may not be reliable but Ian is right that the disclaimer by itself does not establish unreliability. The presence of lawyer-dictated pro forma disclaimers of legal liability (esp for user comments and contributions) is quite common, as has been mentioned numerous times on this board. Here, for example here are some quotes from CNN's Terms of service:

"CNN is a distributor (and not a publisher or creator) of content supplied by third parties and users. Any opinions, advice, statements, services, offers, or other information or content expressed or made available by third parties, including information providers or users of the Site, are those of the respective author(s) or distributor(s) and not of CNN. Neither CNN nor any third-party provider of information guarantees the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any content, nor its merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose. (Refer to Section 6 below for the complete provisions governing limitation of liabilities and disclaimers of warranty.)"

"The Site may contain comments sections, discussion forums, or other interactive features, including CNN iReport, CNN's user-generated news community ("Interactive Areas") in which you may post or upload user-generated content, including but not limited to iReports, comments, video, photos, messages, other materials or items (collectively, "User Content"). You are solely responsible for your use of any Interactive Areas and you use them at your own risk."

That's just part of the lengthy disclaimer. And CNN is hardly the exception. Abecedare (talk) 20:20, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Lots of sites publish gossip, rumors, conjecture and opinions alongside reported news stories. That does not make those sites blanket-unusable as reliable sources. It simply means the content needs to be situationally examined to determine which it may be. For example, the New York Daily News has an explicit "Celebrity Gossip" section [26] but no one would seriously suggest that means everything from the NYDN is unusable. Similarly, the British Broadcasting Corporation has a section for "Football Gossip" [27] but the BBC is of course an unimpeachable reliable source. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 20:27, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I don't think the disclaimers are comparable. Granted, The Mary Sue may just be sloppy with their disclaimer, so where is their statement on accuracy and oversight that we should consider as offsetting "The information set forth herein may not necessarily be accurate or current."? --Ronz (talk) 20:36, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
That answer will depend upon which article on that website is being cited and for what. Can you or the OP point to the particular case of interest? Abecedare (talk) 20:44, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
It's hardly surprising that a website might not be current. The New York Times web archives may contain corrections to stories that were inaccurate at the time, but they're not going to write an addition to an article that said "Congressmen Myrgle now lives on Blstflk Beach" to note that three years later, she moved, and two years after that, she died. --Nat Gertler (talk) 21:54, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping that there was simply some statement by them where they document their standards for accuracy and oversight. If there's none, I don't know why anyone would think they are a reliable source, especially given the disclaimer. --Ronz (talk) 22:00, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Over at the WP Video Games RS, we consider The Mary Sue to be a situational source: reliable for its own original content, but reblogged content ([via so-and-so]) would depend on where it was first published. (So we absolutely need to see the context for where this source would be used.) They have editors and authors who have published elsewhere, they are cited by other reliable sources, they issue corrections, they have standard legal disclaimers (however quirky), an actual physical address, and they're published by Abrams Media, which is run by Dan Abrams. You may know him from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and as anchor on a little show called Nightline. Woodroar (talk) 23:13, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
    That clears up a great deal. Very nice guideline that WP:VG has put together. So we really need the specifics to decide. --Ronz (talk) 18:11, 6 May 2015 (UTC)

@Calbeck:, can you please give the Wikipedia article(s), article content, and The Mary Sue sources? --Ronz (talk) 23:18, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

Based on that statement, I'd say that some parts of the site definitely have the potential be reliable (although you'd have to look at the specific article and context to be sure); the statement reads to me like a list of the different things it carries (that is, it has news articles, and opinion pieces, and gossip columns; and we can maybe cite the first type of article for facts, and definitely cite the second for opinions when those opinions are relevant -- which is another question, of course, but can't be decided in a sweeping manner.) It feels like you missed the second part of what you bolded: "The Mary Sue does not routinely moderate, screen, or edit content contributed by readers." The part you bolded refers to their forums. In other words, we can't use their forums as a source (but that was obviously the case.) But it also says "The Mary Sue includes original, created, fictional, reported and edited content as well as unmoderated reader posts." The edited content can meet WP:RS (depending on the quality of the editing, but that's another issue); the unmoderated reader posts obviously don't. So basically... it can pass WP:RS, and the disclaimer you're quoting doesn't strike me as something that puts them into question in that regard. But to say anything beyond that we'd have to look at the specific article on their site and the specific context that it's being cited in. --Aquillion (talk) 05:36, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Secondary source in conflict with primary source - what should be done?

I have a question.

What should an editor do if they find that a secondary source is inaccurate in its reporting of a primary source or sources?

The page for "reliable sources". says: "While specific facts may be taken from primary sources, secondary sources that present the same material are preferred". Suppose a secondary source (for instance a news story about a court case) is not in agreement with the (primary source) court records? Or for another example, suppose an article in a popular science magazine (a secondary source) does not report a scientific study (primary source) correctly? To give another example, suppose publicly available documents from an estate (primary) exonerate a deceased person, while a biography (a secondary source) accuses them of some unethical mistake? I propose that this guideline needs clarification, as follows:

When a secondary source misrepresents a primary source used in it's references, editors should quote the primary source (or link to publicly available evidence in English where it can be seen, allowing other editors to examine it.) on the talk page and outline the difference between the erroneous secondary source and the primary source. Then, the error should be removed, replaced with the correct information, report, or material, and properly referenced. Editors should assume good faith on the part of the author of the secondary source, and assume the same for Wikipedia editors who originally referenced it. Once this has been done, the burden of proof should be on the editor who used the erroneous source.

As it stands now, any published article that's in error can supplant correct information from a primary source. This is especially important for biographies of living persons and controversial subjects. A single biased or unreliable secondary source can be used to manipulate wiki's contents, and violate NPOV while appearing to stay within the guidelines.

Will an editor or administrator who is experienced handling reliable source issues please add this to the guidelines? I look forward to reading any discussions that follow this request, which is a matter of editing guidelines, and not a specific case. Manyinterests2525 (talk) 05:31, 5 May 2015 (UTC)

In law articles, it is simple. Per WP:MOSLAW#Citations and referencing, you go with what is in the primary source as being factual and give it priority. GregJackP Boomer! 05:49, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I agree. And in science or biographical cases; what then? Manyinterests2525 (talk) 05:52, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
I don't have a clue, I would recommend the same approach, but I don't edit those much, so I would check with someone on their policies. GregJackP Boomer! 05:57, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Yes, that's what I'm hoping to do here with this request. I hope an administrator or two will speak up. Thanks for the clarification regarding primary sources on legal subjects. That policy is clear, at least.Manyinterests2525 (talk) 06:09, 5 May 2015 (UTC)
Absolutely not. Here's the problem: When a user disagrees with a secondary source, they're almost always going to have a different reading of the primary sources that that secondary source is based on. For them to remove a secondary source because they feel that its reading of the primary sources is in error (and to replace it with the primary sources) generally amounts to WP:OR; it is easy to say "this secondary source is obviously wrong", but in practice that tends to be the core of most content disputes, and there isn't any easy rule that can resolve it (certainly not "ignore the secondary source you believe to be wrong, replace it with your reading of the primary sources" -- the whole reason we tell people to try and go to secondary sources is to avoid that.) To do otherwise encourages users to say eg. "yes, I know the reputable secondary sources say that the moon landing wasn't faked; but if you look at the primary source of the video of that flag, it is clearly waving the wrong way, which therefore needs to be in the article and the secondary sources removed..." When an editor argues that a secondary source is misreading or misrepresenting the primary sources, the appropriate thing to do is to try and produce another, more reputable secondary source; or, if the source they claim is in error is highly reputable, to show that it is a minority viewpoint among similarly-reputable sources (although the article might still need to comment on the difference in opinions, if the "mistaken" source or sources are highly reputable -- at that point it is a difference in opinion among sources.) If the reputable sources are universally in error, there is nothing we can do; Wikipedia is not a scholarly journal and is not the place to try and begin correcting mistakes in the reputable literature. This is occasionally frustrating, but it is part and parcel of writing an encyclopedia: We document the common knowledge among reputable sources, we don't try and correct it for them. Basically, the problem here is that you're treating it as an easy and uncontroversial thing to say "oh, this secondary source is clearly misrepresenting its primary source"; that argument is at the core of almost all debates over (and between) secondary sources, and for us as editors to say "this source is definitely wrong" (absent some other reliable source to base that on) is generally WP:OR. --Aquillion (talk) 05:54, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
"Absolutely no" is too strong. It depends on the case and it should be discussed case by case. There is a long history of discussion on points like this. To take an extreme example, do we need to repeat a typo or grammatical error found in a source? No we do not. The reasoning most relevant to most such cases is that we do not need to use any specific source. Aquillion gives an extreme example, where a whole field of good secondary sources all disagree with a primary source, but even then, if editors can agree that there is a strong chance that this comes from a single mistranscription, neutral solutions might be found such as reporting what the secondary sources say, but mentioning what the primary source says in brackets. This would at least draw attention to the possibility of a problem. In general we should try to discuss case by case here.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 09:17, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
It also depends on the field, as noted above. There is a reason that WP:MOSLAW goes with the primary source for disputes (which is rare among legal writings, but common when newspapers or periodicals get involved). It is because the primary source is typically clear. GregJackP Boomer! 14:00, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Not disagreeing, but let me note that WP:PRIMARY often offers the solution to this question by saying:

Do not analyze, synthesize, interpret, or evaluate material found in a primary source yourself; instead, refer to reliable secondary sources that do so. Do not base an entire article on primary sources, and be cautious about basing large passages on them.

(Emphasis in original.) Turned around, that means that if the average reader cannot go to the PRIMARY material and see that it plainly, unambiguously, and without the need for any special legal knowledge or understanding says what it's being cited for, then it cannot be used as a PRIMARY source. Since MOSLAW is a guideline and PRIMARY is a policy, I'd suggest that the material I just quoted is subsumed into MOSLAW. Even when PRIMARY doesn't fix the problem, it should be noted that MOSLAW does not say that the primary source should be used instead of the secondary sources, but says that it should be given priority; I suspect that's because the rule here at Wikipedia is that when sources disagree we do not attempt to resolve the disagreement, we merely note and describe it. Thus what MOSLAW does is to say that the primary source can be given more emphasis than the secondary sources but they both have to be reflected in the article. Frankly, as a lawyer, I think that MOSLAW is, in this respect, a bad idea (and was, just to identify its source, added to MOSLAW without discussion, but also without objection, by Ironholds in this 2010 edit), because it is so open to misinterpretation. Frankly, because so much legal writing requires legal knowledge or expertise to understand what it really means, especially means in context, I'm not so sure that part of MOSLAW is a good idea at all. Finally, remember that BLPPRIMARY further limits the use of primary sources for information about or referring to living persons. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:06, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
So fix it instead of pinging me to tell me my work is terrible. Best regards, Ironholds (talk) 19:09, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
If an editor believes he has identified a discrepancy between a secondary source's statements and the primary source(s) on which it purportedly relies, and the correct response isn't immediately apparent or readily resolved on the article's talk page, then that editor should bring the question to an appropriate forum for discussion and consideration by a wider audience. That will often be this noticeboard, but may also be someplace like WP:BLPN, WP:FTN, etc.
The degree of 'obviousness' of a discrepancy, disagreement, error, or misinterpretation is going to be different in each case, as will the robustness and overall (perceived, evaluated) quality of the primary and secondary sources at hand, as will the availability of corroborating alternative sources. Trying to come up with a blanket statement or rule often creates as many problems as it solves—you tend to end up with a subset of editors who are determined to enforce the literal and specific wording of the rule, rather than considering what the rule is actually meant to accomplish. The number of non-obvious edge cases seems to be small enough to be readily handled as they come up on noticeboards like this one. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 18:24, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

This is part of the more general case: what to do when sources contradict each other. This may happen in mutitudes of forms:

  • primary vs primary, primary vs secondary, secondary vs secondary, etc.
  • Contradiction in description of facts
  • Contradiction in conclusions drawn from facts
  • Contradiction in proofs which prove directly opposite statements, even in such rigorous area as math
  • Contradiction in opinions
  • etc. etc.

We can never have 100% bulletproof rules to cover all above and more to come. Therefore the only way is to handle them in case-by-case basis using whatever policies for conflict resolution , NPOV, etc. we already have. This is an all-encompassing rule we already follow, and the suggestion (in boldface) of the original poster IMO does not add anything new to our guidelines. Staszek Lem (talk) 22:07, 7 May 2015 (UTC) is being used as a source for World War I casualties. The footnote for the UK includes statistical data extracted from The figures derived doing an inquiry do not agree with any other published source for UK war dead. I have doubts as to whether this statistical data from can be presented on Wikipedia. I am requesting your advice on how to deal with this use of Please refer to the footnote for the UK at World War I casualties, see the paragraph 'The website, I maintain that the following statement cannot be verified using alternate sources'

'A inquiry in this database put the total deaths at 701,828, by year: 1914–26,899,[143] 1915–113,187,[144] 1916–170,574,[145] 1917–202,183,[146] 1918–188,985.[147] The website allow inquiries by cause of death, "killed in action", "died of wounds" or "died". They classify 465,317 as killed in action,[148] 146,444 as died of wounds,[149] and about 90,000 other deaths because the database duplicates some listed as killed or died of wounds
I am requesting your advice on how to deal with this use of as a source--Woogie10w (talk) 03:11, 1 May 2015 (UTC)

World War I is not exactly an obscure topic with a dearth of sources. There's no justification for using given that many other sources of better reliability (e.g., academic sources) are available. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 03:22, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
Yup -there must be hundreds of reputable academic sources providing such information - there is no reason whatsoever why we'd need to cite such a source. And no, they aren't a reliable source for WWI-era demographic data. We leave the compilation of such statistics to historians. And BTW, it is inappropriate for the article to be plugging a commercial website in the manner it currently does. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:23, 1 May 2015 (UTC)
A Ok. I will delete material. I hope I am not back here later if I get reverted. Thanks for taking the time to answer my inquiry--Woogie10w (talk) 03:28, 1 May 2015 (UTC) is definitely not a reliable source. it is user generated content based on other usergenerated content. -- TRPoD aka The Red Pen of Doom 00:22, 4 May 2015 (UTC)
Definitely not a reliable source. is essentially a search engine of genealogy, where a person can input anything they want to search, hence "user generated content." Therefore, who knows if the information cited is even correct. Cheers, Comatmebro ~Come at me~ 15:37, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
There is user generated content at (mostly in the form of genealogical trees) and there is non-user generated content (census records, books, newspapers, etc.). So material is not unreilable simply because it is housed at "". The material that is reliable, however, will cite sources other than Ancestry. - Nunh-huh 22:35, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Vans / is being used as a reference on the Vans article here. It appears to be a primary source and one of an advocacy group regarding workers' rights. By the way, this is one factor of several by this organization. Thoughts? Thanks, Bahooka (talk) 05:27, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Aside from questions about the reliability of the source, this looks like a case where WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV applies to me, so I think that edit you've linked to should be reverted. Cordless Larry (talk) 20:10, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
Not reliable. The organisation is not prominent enough for its ratings to be of interest. Unfortunately, in my opinion. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:18, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay

The book "Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay 1579, Setting the Historical Record Straight" should be considered a reliable source and be included as on the Nova Albion and Francis Drake page. [28]. Published in 2011 as a 8" x 11 1/2" format by Nehalem Bay Publishing, has 263 pages, more then 100 illustrations, 246 Endnotes and a 12 page Bibliography. Researched and compiled over a 26 year period. Endorsed by Thomas Vaughan, Oregon's Historian Laureate and Executive Director of the Oregon Historical Society (1954-1989); Harvey Steele, past President of the Oregon Archaeology Society; Herbert K. Beals, Oregon Historical Society Historian and Author of "Northwest Coasts before 1800", A thesis submitted for Master of Arts in History, Portland University, 1983, and "For Honor & Country, The Diary of Bruno de Hezeta", Translation and annotation , Western Imprints, Press of the Oregon Historical Society, 1985, and co-author with Harvey Steele, "Chinese Porcelains From Site 35-TI-1, Netarts Sand Spit Tillamook County, Oregon", University of Oregon Anthropological Papers No. 23, 1981. Endorsement by James P. Delgado, PhD, FRGS, RPA, Texas A&M - "I greatly enjoyed the book, and I thought you advanced your arguments well."

I the work "Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay 1579" constitutes a greater depth, documentation and evidence than an other proposed theory to Nova Albion and Francis Drake's west coast of North American landing.Ggitzen (talk) 00:42, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Let us be clear here. The author of this book is apparently its publisher. (Amazon lists the author as Garry Gitzen, the publisher as Garry D. Gitzen). I can find no reference to "Nehalem Bay Publishing" on the Internet, so it is clearly not a well-established press. So this is a self-published source, and per our guidelines on use of self-published sources, "Self-published expert sources may be considered reliable when produced by an established expert on the subject matter, whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." Do you have such previous publications to put forth to establish expertise? --Nat Gertler (talk) 01:46, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
I did a Google search on "Garry Gitzen" and found that NPR aired a segment on his Francis Drake work in 2012 [29] where they visited where he works and discussed the books he has for references, etc. I found several history books he's published on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and iTunes on various topics, including trench warfare in WW I. He appears to be a historian focusing deeply on niche topics. I didn't dig deeper to try to verify the the other sources he cites above, but as far as I can tell, his work is legitimately researched and recognized by a well-known credible source, NPR.Starkcasted (talk) 04:24, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
There is absolutely nothing in what has been presented here to indicate that the book is a genuine work of history. Not reliable, unless further evidence is available. Most convincing would be reviews in academic journals. Itsmejudith (talk) 08:14, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
And given the requester's name, I think we can guess why he wants it included. Guy (Help!) 09:28, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Looking at the other publications listed at Amazon, they all list either self-publishing service or "Amazon Digital Services" (the publisher listing you get if you go through Amazon's Kindle self-publishing system) as publishers, so they appear not to third-party publications; an indicator of enthusiasm, perhaps, but not of expertise. The NPR piece didn't portray him as an expert, but as an amateur historian who had a lot of books, and it specifically showed that the book's claims are not simply accepted among those interested in the matter at hand. So while I understand that the person asking the question may have a strong and honest belief that this is an accurate work that should be considered valuable as a reference, we don't (yet) have anything that shows that it meets our standards as a "reliable source". --Nat Gertler (talk) 13:35, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
NPR said there is a scholarly debate as to location of Drake’s anchoring and repairing, of which Gitzen’s book is one of the theories. NPR is credible, but not a university. So, I dug deeper, and here’s what I found. The Princeton University Library has a map curator who maintains a website with maps and scholarly references which includes a citation to Gitzen’s Drake book here: [30]. The paragraph citing the book begins “Some scholars theorize…” and lists several references and authors it clearly considers to be scholarly. It states there is a scholarly debate about where the Drake’s ship was anchored and repaired in 1579 that he called “New Albion”, citing a 1981 reference theorizing one location in Oregon, and then states “More recently, Garry Gitzen (‘Sir Francis Drake in Nehalem Bay 1579’, 2008) has posited Nehalem Bay, Oregon, as the true New Albion, using multifaceted approaches (such as topography, ethnology, flora/faunda, geography).” It then states whichever is correct, Oregon is a more likely location than California, despite the fact that California has named a Drake’s Cove a historic landmark, etc. It seems to me there is a spirited scholarly debate going on about Drake’s landing, and not only is Gitzen’s book considered one of the credible theories, but Princeton Library’s map curator noted the scholarship of its methodologies. I assume an article referencing Drake’s anchoring will state that no one knows for sure where Drake anchored and, like many historical events, there are differing scholarly theories, of which this book credibly espouses one. Is the Princeton Library citation sufficient to establish this book as a reliable reference? If not, I can dig further and see what else can be found.Starkcasted (talk) 19:55, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Even if we were to accept that these minor citations qualify as suggestion of expertise, it doesn't rise to the level call for by WP:SPS, which looks for experts "whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications." --Nat Gertler (talk) 20:50, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I dug deeper. I found a large number of further references to his work from historical societies and historians, and additional comments that it was thoroughly researched from apparently unrelated organizations. Also, I found no negative references challenging the quality of his research or failures in fact-checking. But, I could find no third-party publisher of this or his prior work. So, per WP:SPS, I agree this would seem to disqualify the book as a reliable source per Wikipedia policy. Would the the Princeton Library map curator website be considered a reliable source? Perhaps that could be used as an alternative citation if someone wants to write on this topic.Starkcasted (talk) 04:52, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Is this book a reliable enough source to count towards the notability of a person?

David L. Jones was covered in a the book Makers at Work: Folks Reinventing the World One Object or Idea at a Time by Steven Osborn.[31] The writer's name I only see in one other book, The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Study Guide, and not sure if its the same person. The book is a collection of interviews he decided to do on his own with 21 different people. [32] In determining if a person is notable enough to have a Wikipedia article, should being interviewed in a book of interviews like this, count towards their notability? Dream Focus 21:26, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Reliable - Looking at the book and reading a little, it's not like it was self-published by David L. Jones or a close associate. Jones' inclusion seems to be legitimate, a result of his notability in the field of electronics, presumably due to his vlogging audience of a quarter of a million. The book looks to be a reliable secondary source. --Pete (talk) 21:53, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
An interview in a legitimate newspaper or magazine of course counts to notability, but I wasn't certain about just having some random unknown guy publish a book of interviews. Dream Focus 22:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
We are all pretty much random unknown guys publishing an encyclopaedia. I think it's a good source because Jones is just one of many people included in the book. It's not like he wrote or published it for self-promotion. --Pete (talk) 22:09, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
As an book of interviews, it should be treated as a primary source.
Is there something in WP:N or WP:BIO that you're specifically referring to when you say "count towards their notability."
As an interview, it doesn't meet WP:N or WP:BIO for Jones. Does Osborn's selection of Jones to interview demonstrate notability for Jones? I don't understand how it could. The book assumes notability, but WP:N and WP:BIO require that we have sources that demonstrate notability. --Ronz (talk) 23:23, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Two in the AFD discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/David L. Jones say that one magazine interview and being published in this book of interviews, proves he is notable. I didn't think the book counted, so asked here, it just odd if any random person can publish a book where they interview various YouTube people, and that somehow means every one of those interviewed gets their own Wikipedia article. Dream Focus 23:30, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I looked over the AfD. Seems that editors are trying to work around WP:N and WP:BIO.You are being far more patient with it than I would. Good luck! --Ronz (talk) 00:00, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

The following content was added to the article on Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCBs):

Internal leaked documents released ex post facto show that Monsanto Chemical Company knew increasingly more about the harmful effects of PCBs to humans and the environment through the 1960s.[1]

The "about page" of the site says: "This website tells a shocking story about the nation's chemical industry. It describes how large chemical corporations knew for decades that their products posed serious, even life-threatening health risks to their workers and customers. It describes how these companies concealed this information from the public -- and continued to sell products that they knew were dangerous. This website also exposes the industry-funded public relations and lobbying campaigns that were designed to obscure the truth about the health risks of toxic chemicals. The Chemical Industry Archives consists of thousands of internal documents from the chemical industry and from its national trade associations. Most of these documents were obtained in connection with legal proceedings against the chemical industry." (emphasis in the original)

I checked the archives and this source has never been discussed here. Is the source reliable for the content? Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 12:26, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

Well, i'm the one who used this source to support a statement of fact to the point that Monsanto continued to know more about the harmful effects of PCBs into the 1960s, so it follows that i think it's reasonable source to support that statement. It provides facsimiles of original documents that show the positions and knowledge of Monsanto managerial employees of that time period, which i think makes an excellent addition to the article for the common person who is learning about PCBs to understand the sociological and historical story of the chemicals. I would definitely want to see this in a general story about PCBs that goes into any amount of historical detail about the chemical family in question which has resulted in pollution of rivers and bad effects on human health. I'm also open to other suggestions for how to source this information if need be. I know the topic was covered by the Washington Post as well, though not in quite as much detail. It's also covered on Common Dreams news and opinion website. I do *not* think that the statements on the "About" page of this website which you quote above make should disqualify it. The website is filling a useful niche in reportage by focusing on a topic, but this does not mean that for this reason the information presented would automatically be unreliable, to my mind, any more than a researcher's affiliation with Monsanto would make *their* scientific papers less reliable. SageRad (talk) 14:15, 10 May 2015 (UTC)

The source fails WP:VERIFIABILITY, in particular WP:NOTRELIABLE which states:

"Questionable sources are those that have a poor reputation for checking the facts, lack meaningful editorial oversight, or have an apparent conflict of interest""
The conflict of interest is the source's role as the mouthpiece for an advocacy group, as described in footnote 8 of WP:NOTRELIABLE:
"Conflicts of interest, real or apparent, may come up in many areas. They may involve the relationships of staff members with readers, news sources, advocacy groups, advertisers, or competitors; with one another, or with the newspaper or its parent company."
This is not changed by the "documentation" provided by the source. The problem is not so much with the facts, but with the biased and COI tainted way in which the source interprets them. For example,
"Today Monsanto does not deny that everyone is contaminated with PCBs. They argue instead that since they have contaminated the entire planet they are innocent of all liability."
citing a statement by a Monsanto attorney that
"The truth is that PCBs are everywhere. They are in meat, they are in everyone in the courtroom, they are everywhere and they have been for a long time, along with a host of other substances."
This is a massive misstatement of the attorney's position. Monsanto has long argued that PCBs are ubiquitous in the environment because they are formed by combustion of a wide range of materials, including wood., not because "they have contaminated the entire planet".
Given the COI and the deliberate mischaracterization of Monsanto's position above, the source does not even come close to being reliable for a statement of this type. Formerly 98 talk|contribs|COI Statement 15:13, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Formerly, i am just now noticing your reasoning for saying that the source has a conflict of interest, and i think it's wrong. You're saying that the conflict of interest is that it's a website by an advocacy group. Well it's a website created by a group with a mission, and created for a purpose. That is clear, but i don't think that in itself makes it a source that can never be used on Wikipedia, nor do i think the purpose of that footnote 8 of WP:NOTRELIABLE refers to this. I think that footnote you quoted refers to real conflicts of interest that are nepotistic or due to vested interests of another sort. Being a group with an angle that is critical of the chemical industry does not disqualify them from being a useful information source for a Wikipedia article. It does not automatically mean that their work is unacceptable to be cited in an article. It's open and apparent what their angle is. In this world, there is often a tension between perspectives, and it's from the complex dialogue and interplay that each of us gets to use our own discernment and build our own model of reality. I would like to be able to use this source in an article if it's appropriate to the article. SageRad (talk) 08:47, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Can you please spell out clearly what you see as being a conflict of interest here, Formerly 98? What exactly in the "About" page determines that this website has a conflict of interest, and with whom or what is the conflict of interest, or what is the nature of the conflict of interest and how would it make the source unreliable? Would you also have more information that shows that the lawyer who is quoted above did actually make the case as you say s/he did, which is the basis on which you're saying that the website is misrepresenting the lawyer's words intentionally (if i read you right)? When i read the paper you linked, the table shows PCBs in product of wood burning stoves at picograms per cubic meter, whereas in soil in Okinawa, for instance, we're talking thousands of parts per million of PCB contamination, which means parts per thousand. The scale is massively different, and i find it hard to believe that a lawyer could credibly argue that because trace amounts of PCBs are present in wood smoke, that pollution at parts-per-million levels is therefore not a liability. SageRad (talk) 09:36, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
By the way, the "they" in the article quote could refer to either PCBs or to Monsanto. SageRad (talk) 09:38, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I should add that we've re-sourced the original statement for which i had used this website as a source orginally, to a Washington Post article in the same topic. I still think this website is a very useful source of information about this issue and probably others, as it provides documents that show very clearly the nature of the social relations around pollution by the chemical industry, and that is something that people living on the Earth should be able to know about, and to see provided as a source within articles. It can help to balance out statements and reports that may contain more of a perspective of the industry itself, which tends to minimize effects and to explain pollution in other ways. This information is an important resource that provides artifacts that help us to tell the history of humans and technology in the last century, and i think it would be a loss to rule it out as a source of information, without serious reason for doing so. SageRad (talk) 09:45, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
This source can not be trusted. Spumuq (talq) 11:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Reasons, rationale, some more than an assertion, Spumuq? Can we talk about this in terms of reason and guidelines? I could also assert that the German BfR cannot be trusted, which i think is true, but would then get a lot of backlash from people who want to cite its reports. SageRad (talk) 11:59, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
«Today Monsanto does not deny that everyone is contaminated with PCBs. They argue instead that since they have contaminated the entire planet they are innocent of all liability». The source can not be trusted. Spumuq (talq) 12:06, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
So you are assuming that the "they" meant Monsanto and not PCBs and you are also assuming that this was not the meaning of the lawyer in this case and on the basis of these assumptions, you're saying that one fact in the story is wrong, and therefore they are not an acceptable source to cite and of the documents among the extensive documents archive that they maintain? I could show you a factually wrong statement that was printed in the New York Times and that would not rule them out as a source. SageRad (talk) 12:23, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • A polemical website with a clear agenda, whose authors have no identified authority and whose content has no evidence of editorial review or fact-checking. That's a very obvious no. It fails pretty much every test of WP:RS. Guy (Help!) 12:12, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • According to WP:RS, "reliable sources are not required to be neutral, unbiased, or objective. Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject."
  • Could this site not be used as a source for original document archives from the chemical industry, not even touching or using text written by the website itself? "Common sources of bias include political, financial, religious, philosophical, or other beliefs. While a source may be biased, it may be reliable in the specific context. When dealing with a potentially biased source, editors should consider whether the source meets the normal requirements for reliable sources, such as editorial control and a reputation for fact-checking. Editors should also consider whether the bias makes it appropriate to use in-text attribution to the source, as in "Feminist Betty Friedan wrote that...", "According to the Marxist economist Harry Magdoff...," or "Conservative Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater believed that..."
  • What do you mean by "authority" -- do you mean credentials like degrees?
  • And on what basis do you assert that the content has no evidence of fact-checking?
  • Further, would you support the ability to cite original documents from the chemical industry that are maintained on this website, even if not the text written by anyone at the website? Would you completely rule out the ability to present an original archived document in a Wikipedia article on a topic that it may directly relate to? SageRad (talk) 12:24, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
No, this source can not be trusted. If you are picking «original documents» from this website how can we trust that they are representative, or tell the whole story? Spumuq (talq) 12:30, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
To clarify, they are a subgroup of the Environmental Working Group. [ Their about page.] Are they also not ever a reliable source here? Spumuq, you are basically simply asserting "No, this source can not be trusted" without any reasoning as to why you say this about this group versus any other group whose work is allowed to be cited on Wikipedia. I need a really specific description of your reasoning, because this matters and if we disallow this group, then we're disallowing a whole lot of very painstaking and detailed and most likely very responsible hard work on the part of a whole lot of people whose interest is most likely to get out critical information about things that matter to human health and to ecology. To discount all that with a simple "no they can't be trusted" is not acceptable. You'll need to show that they are somehow significantly substandard and distorting things consistently if you want to disallow them as a source. Just because they're not a governmental agency and they have a mission that is to safeguard the public health from wrongdoing by the chemical industry -- is that what you have an issue with? SageRad (talk) 12:37, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • not reliable I haven't !voted here but will do now. Two issues really. 1) We have no way of knowing if the documents presented on the website are authentic. 2a) the documents presented there are WP:PRIMARY sources in the classic sense of that term; 2b) the website on which they are presented is clearly highly partisan; if there were PRIMARY sources that presented a different picture it doesn't seem likely that one would find them there (per their About page); 2c) every policy and guideline warns against using PRIMARY sources; this is even more important on controversial articles; 2d) documents concern subject matter about which people have strong emotions - so 2) a highly partisan collection of PRIMARY sources should not be used in WP as it will just be fodder for POV-pushers who will use them to create UNDUE problems. In this particular case, there are much better sources (washington post article) and the specific sourcing issue has been resolved at the article while this discussion was unfolding. I did want to get the community to discuss the source as used for this type of thing, as it had not been discussed before. Now this will be in the archives for future reference. Jytdog (talk) 13:11, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I also want this discussion to continue and to examine all aspects of this question, as i think this is an important question. I would like to get solid answers to the questions i've asked of others in this conversation and not let an offhand comment be considered as a solid opinion when there are further questions to it. I would like this to be a principled discussion.
  • Primary sources are allowed. Secondary is generally preferable given both being available, but primary sources are allowed and used quite a lot. Wikipedia would be rather leaner if they were not, i am sure, and important things would be left out.
  • Sure, you could say that there is no proof that the primary documents are genuine, right? You can say that about anything. What's the indication that that is likely?
  • The website in question has a mission, which is to make information on a certain topic known and public. If that is "partisan" then it's only because there exists in society a conflict of interest on this topic, and this very conflict of interest seems to be embodied here at Wikipedia, as well, to my reckoning, and this is *not* a reason to simply disallow this website's information.
  • There are points of view about everything, an especially about issues that are controversial because they embody conflicts in society, and they should *describe* those conflicts in society explicitly and explain the dominant and valid points of view in such cases, and thereby the article has a form of NPOV by describing strong conflicts of interest in society about a topic. This is quite explicitly said in WP:RS and WP:NPOV -- the latter reads:

Biased sources are not inherently disallowed based on bias alone, although other aspects of the source may make it invalid. Neutral point of view should be achieved by balancing the bias in sources based on the weight of the opinion in reliable sources and not by excluding sources that do not conform to the writer's point of view.

  • So, i think this is a substantial question and i would like dialogue to be complete, and not do a straw-poll with unaddressed flawed logic in arguments. SageRad (talk) 15:10, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

I want to state that there are many open questions in the dialogue above. There were a few people who made objections, then i asked clarifying questions and didn't get adequate responses. On this bases, this dialogue is not complete. There is no decision, and there are many open questions in the discussion. SageRad (talk) 08:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Glassdoor is a site where employees can report their level of satisfaction with their employers. Can this be considered a reliable source? (talk) 15:26, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

(Edit conflict.) No. No site which the public can freely edit can be a reliable source. Such sites are self published sources, and cannot be used as reliable sources except perhaps for information about themselves which does not refer to third parties. You might also want to take a look at Wikipedia is not a soapbox. Please be sure to sign your talk page and noticeboard posts with four tildes: ~~~~ Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 15:20, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. (talk) 15:26, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Secondary OnLive source

Does this qualify for a reliable source for citing "On August 17, 2012 the company laid off all of its employees?" Article is OnLive
Article is subject of a libel lawsuit in which the author states he is deliberately declining to fact check, per the publicly available case. Case number and paragraphs are at OnLive Talk: Cited article is dubious.

Also, this is a citation for brief sentence that already had a footnote dating from two years' prior to the addition of this second footnote which, comparing dates, was posted in October 2014 shortly after the libel lawsuit was filed. Does such a brief sentence require a second footnote? And, if so, is citation posted shortly after it becomes the subject of a libel lawsuit the best choice for a second footnote when there are many non-controversial articles available?

It seemed to me to be a no-brainer removal (or replacement), but other Wikipedia editors and an Administrator have firmly stated it should remain.

I never imagined I'd spend this much time on it, but at this point, I am actually quite curious as to what Wikipedia policy is in a situation like this. I found the citation in the wake of the Rolling Stone fact-checking scandal (Rolling Stone's author only later admitted she did not fact check after it was undeniable. This libel case is exceptional that the author bragged he was not fact-checking before he published). I think we are all a bit shell-shocked that Rolling Stone could be so remiss in fact-checking, and here we have an author who is proud of it. It is noted in the libel lawsuit that other highly credible publications (e.g., it mentions MIT Technology Review) have removed links to the article upon conducting their own fact-checking, and they have confirmed the article contains multiple false statements. I looked up both the MIT article and a copy of the article cited in the lawsuit that was made before the link was removed, and sure enough, it shows MIT indeed removed the link to this article after initially publishing it. Are Wikipedia's editorial standards for whether sources are factual lower than those of credible domain-knowledgeable sources like MIT Tech Review? I should hope not!

That said, if I misunderstood Wikipedia policy about avoiding sources that have questionable fact-checking (and as Rolling Stone has shown us, an article may have questionable fact-checking, even though it is from an otherwise credible publication), then I very much would be interested to know, and of course, fine to leave the link in place in accordance with policy. Frankly, I can't comprehend why Rolling Stone is refusing to change their editorial processes in the wake of the scandal either. Regardless, what was a minor undo has become quite the adventure.

Starkcasted (talk)

If the lawsuit is successful, and the court in question rules that the article was materially false, then I feel we would remove it. That isn't the case at this time, and your sole source for it being false is the arguments being made by one side of the case. Those arguments are inherently biased and have not yet been tested by the legal process — they amount to a primary source. If and when a court of competent jurisdiction rules that the statements in question are false and libelous, we can reconsider the issue. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:18, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
(Involved editor) The question isn't down to what the ref is currently used to cite. The referefence's use could be expanded in the article because it covers things that other articles haven't. Framing the question on the redundancies is the wrong thing to do. As NorthBySouthBaranof says, we have no way of knowing who is telling the truth in this dispute, The Verge has been accepted as a reliable source in the past and the only way we can pass judgement in a case like this is to wait for the court to judge it. - X201 (talk) 04:39, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
re: X201 (talk) pointing out: "The Verge has been accepted as a reliable source in the past". Nope. Not in this particular instance. The lawsuit shows that this article was published days after a prior article that the editor-in-chief recanted. I checked and the recanting is still posted here: (in the comment section), and the Verge admits they recanted all but the first 4 lines of the original article. And, you'll see the author of the citation article in question is named as a contributor to the recanted article. So, the Verge is NOT a reliable source by its own admission when it comes to OnLive. Both articles cover the same subject, common author, mere days apart.
I looked up WP:PRIMARY and read about the concerns of relying upon a primary source. Well, the article in question cites many events and facts that are cited nowhere else as far as I can find and it doesn't name sources for the these events and facts. Looks like a primary source to me. I can't find any secondary source that cites this article or the supposed events. For example, MIT Technology Review could have been a good secondary source, but they've rejected this information as unreliable. A primary source is less preferable than the many secondary sources available, for example, that cite verifiable sources or are consistent with other press, rather than a primary source with unique, anonymous and unverified information. X201 is already suggesting using the article's unique information to source more information from it for the OnLive article.
Regarding bias, doesn't the fact this article involved the same writer and was published days after another article about OnLive was recanted make the article inherently biased and a more questionable choice as to credibility?
I agree that a court has to decide whether or not the article meets the legal definition of libel, but setting aside the legal definition of libel, this seems to be a very poor choice for a source while there are many others that are not controversial. I still have not received a clear answer to a simple question, why are we fighting for THIS source when we have the option to choose from so many others? There is no question the source is controversial. The same publication recanted an article only a few days earlier. Other publications have pulled their links to the article. Why not choose any of the many other sources that are not controversial? Starkcasted (talk) 06:42, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
One might similarly ask why you are fighting against this source.
The existence of a correction to the article actually supports the idea that the source is reliable; as per WP:NEWSORG, One signal that a news organization engages in fact-checking and has a reputation for accuracy is the publication of corrections. The previous version of the article is acknowledged to have errors, and the publication has withdrawn that version and published a corrected version. That supports the argument that The Verge has an established system of editorial control, takes into account complaints about its articles and acts to quickly correct errors of fact. Unless you have evidence that the corrected version is inaccurate (and an allegation in an unresolved lawsuit is not "evidence"), it would seem that this is a reliable source. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 08:32, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof A "correction" is quite different than a "rewriting". All but the introductory lines of the first article were completely replaced. The original article was completely different than the replacement. The original article made criminal allegations that were debunked by readily available public records. This is evidence of NOT fact-checking and a serious lack of a system of editorial control.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranofNot by (I guess old-fashioned) journalistic standards. Here's an analogous situation: Rolling Stone published a very negative article about UVA citing few verifiable sources that was later discovered to be riddled with falsehoods and was obviously not fact checked. Recently, Rolling Stone's editor recanted the story, but made no editorial changes. Suppose that just a few days after the story the recanting a writer involved in the original story wrote another very negative story about UVA, again with no verifiable sources, and again, there are no other articles that corroborate the second article, and again, parties challenge the veracity of the second article. Your argument is the second article is credible because Rolling Stone recanted the original article, showing they had a system of editorial control. My argument is that once a publication is caught making false negative statements on a particular topic and admits they published false information, and only a few days later they publish another negative article by a writer involved in the first story on the same topic with anonymous sources, and the second story is not corroborated by other sources, then the second article should be considered a dubious source. I haven't seen anyone lauding Rolling Stone's editorial process where they got caught publishing a negative false article and then recanted it. In fact, many highly credible figures in the world of journalism are calling for the resignation of the writer and editor of the Rolling Stone, regardless of the fact the article was recanted. Similarly, I don't see how the Verge's editorial process should be lauded for getting caught publishing a false story and then recanting it. Quite the opposite, it should be highly suspect, particularly within a few days of the recanted article, with an involved writer on the same topic.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Let me get this straight: The author bragged about the article not being fact checked, yet despite this the publisher printed corrections? Do we know if the publisher also fact checked?Two kinds of porkMakin'Bacon 08:53, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Two kinds of pork No, there were 2 articles on the same topic within a few days. The first article wasn't simply corrected, it was almost entirely replaced and the Verge admitted it contained false information. The second article is the one which is being questioned to be a reliable source as a second footnote to a brief sentence. It was written by a writer involved in first article on the same topic. In the court filing, the author wrote an email minutes before publishing that he won't fact check with the subject of the article, OnLive, and even though OnLive's representative responds immediately offering to fact check, the Verge still goes live with the un-fact checked article. They article is now the subject of a libel lawsuit. The question at hand is not whether the article meets the legal standard of libel, it's whether a second footnote is necessary at all for a brief sentence, and if it is, whether a non-controversial article would be a better choice.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
That claim appears to be a hyperbolic overstatement which isn't supported by anything they've actually provided evidence for. On the article talk page, they have copy-pasted what they purport to be arguments from a brief in an alleged legal case involving this issue, but there are no reliable secondary sources provided, and obviously we can't simply take the arguments of one side of a legal case to be gospel truth. It would be correct, apparently, to say that whoever has filed this apparent lawsuit has alleged that the article was not fact-checked, but that is not the same in the least.
From what I can understand from the not-in-context snippets, the apparent allegation is not that the publisher didn't fact-check the article, but rather that the author of the article refused to share it with the company's PR people before publication (what the lawsuit euphemistically dubs a "fact-check.") This is standard journalistic practice, and in fact, it is widely considered unethical to let the subject of an article read it prior to publication. Given that the lawsuit has yet to be resolved and there are no apparent secondary sources for these claims, this is, at this point, nothing more than uncorroborated and one-sided allegations. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 09:26, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof "This is standard journalistic practice" is not accurate. It is standard journalistic practice to seek feedback from the subject of the article, especially a highly negative article, before going to publication. Fact checking is not about allowing the subject of the article to read it before publication. It's allowing the subject of the article offer their viewpoints on the alleged facts. In a well-written article you'll see things like, "Asked about (the allegation), the subject said (some response or declined to comment)." As far as I know, it's a very serious breach of journalistic ethics for a writer to tell the subject they are affirmatively declining to accept any feedback at all, let alone conduct any fact checking. And, when that occurs only a few days after a previous article was recanted as false, then I think you have a highly questionable article.
Folks, I thought this was a no-brainer undo of a controversial second footnote to a brief sentence. What's unfolded has been a fascinating journey, and I appreciate everyone's passionate and sincere contributions. No one has supported my position in any comments, so clearly, my views on journalistic standards are very different than a wide range of Wikipedia editors. I've had little involvement with Wikipedia, but I know it is a consensus-driven publication, so I must defer to the consensus. Here is what I've learned are Wikipedia's editors' views on this matter that are contrary to my views:
1. A publication's editorial practice is to be lauded for getting caught publishing falsehoods of criminal allegations that were readily debunked by public records and being forced to recant, not considered less credible.
2. An article published days after a prior recanted article on the same topic by a writer involved in the recanted article, that cites only anonymous sources and has no comment by the subject is a credible article. In fact, it is more credible because the prior article was discovered to be false and recanted.
3. Prior to publishing a negative article, the writer has no journalistic obligation to contact the subject for fact checking or comment. In fact, it's okay that just prior to publication the writer tells the subject they won't be fact checking or allowing comment, and when the subject offers to fact check, it's okay that they ignore the offer.
4. Controversial articles are preferable as secondary footnotes for brief sentences even though many non-controversial articles available and the first footnote is non-controversial.
5. The fact that other credible publications with domain knowledge in the subject area have affirmatively removed links to a reference, does not raise concerns about the reliability of the reference.
I'm a writer myself. I go to great effort to verify my sources and when there are multiple sources, I choose the strongest source. I certainly would never prefer a controversial source over one that isn't controversial. This source is, at best, highly controversial, there are credible alternatives, and removing the source doesn't change the Wikipedia article at all other than strengthening its credibility. To me, that's a no-brainer for removal and/or replacement of the source. To me, the numbered list above is in many ways the very opposite of journalistic standards.Starkcasted (talk) 18:45, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Starkcasted, if you had reliable secondary sources which supported these various claims you're making here, this would be a different scenario. But right now, the only source you have provided to support your argument are copy-pasted snippets of allegations made in an apparent lawsuit. We cannot base decisions about content on that kind of source. It's obviously biased and represents one side's as-yet-untested claim as to what happened. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 18:59, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof, First, it's not an "apparent lawsuit". It is Civil Action No.: 10046-VCP In the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware, available publicly on the Delaware Courts website. Second, I think you are focused on the outcome of the lawsuit, assuming all information is being contested, rather than considering the verifiable information provided as background in the lawsuit. Like any lawsuit, there are allegations that are in dispute, and other statements that are confirmable, or confirmed by the other party. For example, the lawsuit states that the first article was retracted by the editor-in-chief, and if you look at the Verge website, sure enough, there is a retraction posted by the editor-in-chief. The lawsuit states that MIT Tech Review no longer has a link to the reference, but copies of the article still have the link, and sure enough, that is confirmable. So, it is easy to confirm the lawsuit exists, and there are many allegations that can be readily confirmed to be true. I'm not lawyer, but as a writer, I find even the confirmable actions appalling. I can't imagine how a publication can release a story making serious criminal allegations against a person that are readily debunked by fact checking a public website. It's up on their website where they acknowledge they made false statements and removed them. As I understand journalism, these actions alone are so serious that they immediately disqualify the Verge as a reliable source for an article published on the same topic within a few days, with the same writer involved. I don't even need to go to evaluate the second article. So, when you say "apparent lawsuit" when it is verifiably a real lawsuit and a public proceeding, and when there is a retraction of a serious allegations on the the Verge website, I don't understand what further verification can be provided.
Second, what I don't understand is why you are seeking secondary sources when on the reliable secondary sources page you point to, top and center says, "Contentious material about living persons (or, in some cases, recently deceased) 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." This policy definitely applies to footnotes: "The policy is strictly applied to all material in the mainspace—articles, lists, and sections of articles—without exception" The footnote reference in question is specifically about a living person, OnLive's former CEO, it is unquestionably contentious, and it is not only poorly sourced, it isn't sourced at all. And, as noted, it is in the wake of a recanted article that made criminal allegations about the same living person that turned out to be fantasy. Yet, you are pointing to this very page and saying secondary sources are required, when the secondary source page says that for living persons the credibility standard is so high that secondary sources are not necessary for the reference's removal if the reference is contentious and poorly sourced, regardless of where the reference appears. How more contentious does it need to be than a libel lawsuit following a retraction of criminal allegations?
So, what standard of "second sources" must be met beyond the confirmable facts already presented to meet the "living persons" removal policy?
I cannot know what information is or is not being contested, because no reliable secondary source has reported on the lawsuit. The only evidence of the lawsuit we have comes from your selective quoting of some content from documents you say you have obtained from court records. We do not know what the entire filing says, nor do we know what other filings exist in the case, nor do we know at what stage the case is in, nor do we know what rebuttals might have been made to those quoted claims. This is precisely why Wikipedia content is primarily based upon what is reported in reliable secondary sources — we do not conduct original research and investigations based upon public records, including court cases. When and if a reliable secondary source covers the lawsuit, we might examine this matter again.
As for BLP, there is an ongoing a discussion on the article talk page and other editors do not appear to agree with you that the material violates policy or is unreliably sourced. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 23:14, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
NorthBySouthBaranof, I appreciate your patience with me as I'm learning how this all works. It's different than what is credible information for journalism. For example, if both parties in a lawsuit agree that a statement is true, then that is considered an undisputed fact that you can use. But, what you're saying is that undisputed facts from a lawsuit can't be considered by Wikipedia until a neutral party writes about it. I've seen Wikipedia articles with links to filings with other government agencies in references, so I don't quite follow why undisputed lawsuit documents are different than other public filings. But, if it's Wikipedia policy, then that it is the policy.
Working under those guidelines, there is still evidence from secondary sources that under some arguments raise questions about the credibility of the reference:
The Verge published a retraction with a rewrite for the first article covering the same topic a few days before. As you can see in the comments from the editor-in-chief, so much of the article was rewritten so extensively, the comments had to be deleted because they were no longer relevant. In my view this retraction and extensive revision undermines the credibility of an article that is (i) covering the same topic a few days later, (ii) written by a writer involved in the retracted article, (iii) cites anonymous sources and (iv) has no comment from the subject of the article (not even, "he declined to comment" or "he was unreachable"). That said, I understand that in your view (and perhaps Wikipedia's view), the first article retraction strengthens the second article's credibility.
It's also the case there is evidence that highly credible publications have removed links to the article.
So, even without relying on the lawsuit, other than it leading us to these secondary sources, there are secondary sources providing evidence that the reference is contentious and (under some arguments) unreliable.
Next, we have BLP. I didn't know anything about BLP until you introduced me to it. You said "As for BLP, there is an ongoing discussion on the article talk page…" No longer. There WAS an ongoing discussion on the talk page, but on the suggestion of one of the editors, I moved the discussion to this page. The BLP issue was never raised, so the article was not assessed from a BLP perspective. For example, here is a comment from ZnTrip on the talk page as to what purpose the article serves: "the article is only being used here as a source for one purpose: to show that "on August 17, 2012 the company laid off all of its employees." But, that fact is briefly mentioned in the reference, a very long article of which the vast majority purports to be biographical information about a living individual. The article is sensational and unsourced, and not corroborated by any other articles. And, as I've learned just today, regardless of whether a BLP source is in the main article or in a footnote, it must meet BLP standards. So, I'm very curious to see how it is evaluated on that standard.
I moved the discussion to here on the recommendation of an experienced Wikipedia editor. Do I need a similar recommendation from you or someone like you to move it to the BLP noticeboard? Or do I just start a new topic?
Regardless of the outcome, I think this would make a very interesting (non-Wikipedia) article about Wikipedia reliability standards versus journalistic reliability standards. I had tacitly assumed that an article that would be considered controversial and unreliable under journalistic standards would also be assessed similarly under Wikipedia standards. But, clearly that isn't the case here. For example, in journalism, especially in the case of investigative journalism or negative articles, fact checking includes seeking to verify facts with the subject of the article and giving them a chance to comment. It's not simply about fairness; the subject by definition has relevant information that should be sought. While evidence of fact checking is listed as important for Wikipedia article reliability, the journalistic fact checking practice of seeking facts and comments from the subject is not, and as you saw above, one of the editors even mistakenly thought it was unethical to contact the subject of an article, while just the opposite is true. I actually think Wikipedia should consider that as factor in establishing article reliability. Had Rolling Stone followed this practice, they would have discovered the allegations were contradicted by hard evidence, and their article never would have been published.
I'd like to explore the BLP forum to see what the outcome is if I am permitted. Then I can report that I've reached the end of the road. Please advise me how to proceed. Again, thank you for your patience.Starkcasted (talk) 04:08, 27 April 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate your patience in working to understand how our often-convoluted bureaucracy works. There is a separate noticeboard, the BLP noticeboard, which offers a place for editors to solicit additional comment and discussion related to BLP issues — it's frequented by a number of editors who are familiar with BLP policies, including myself — and I haven't taken a look, in detail, at the BLP-related claims, which honestly is something I should do. No recommendation or anything is necessary. NorthBySouthBaranof (talk) 04:12, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

Stackcasted - re: " available publicly on the Delaware Courts website.", could you provide a link to it please, I'm usually pretty good at digging up US court documents, but this one is evading me. - X201 (talk) 05:51, 27 April 2015 (UTC)

X201 Docket Information in the lower right.Starkcasted (talk) 01:59, 28 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. I'd found the service run by File and ServeXpress before, looks like the only free public access is if you actually go to Delaware. - X201 (talk) 09:25, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

NorthBySouthBaranof Seeking to learn next steps in Wikipedia process for an article like this. The last you said was "I haven't taken a look, in detail, at the BLP-related claims, which honestly is something I should do." I took this to mean you were going to look at BLP-related claims and then report on what your conclusions are. Is there another process I'm unaware of? Or should I post something myself about this on the BLP noticeboard at this point? Or, is this as far as things go in Wikipedia with an article like this? Very interested in the outcome. Thanks.Starkcasted (talk) 19:32, 2 May 2015 (UTC)

A simple lawsuit is not, IMHO, itself enough of a reason to discredit a source; anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason, after all, so it doesn't prove anything to us beyond the fact that OnLive itself disputes the claim. (And we certainly don't remove things from articles solely because the subject disputes them.) It might be a decent reason to double-check the source and look for additional sources for verification, but it seems like there's already a second source there, and both of them look generally-reliable. The lawsuit might be worth mentioning in the article; but if anything it raises the profile of the Verge article and makes it more important that our page cover it. So we could go into detail and say eg. "The Verge reported blah blah blah; OnLive disputed this and responded with a libel lawsuit" or words to that effect, but I don't feel we can remove it now that they've taken it to the point of bringing it to court. --Aquillion (talk) 19:20, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Aquillion, the lawsuit itself is not the reason to remove the article as a Wikipedia source. I agree that if it simply a matter of whether two parties are disagreeing whether something is true, then we need to wait for the outcome. But, that is not the situation here. Some facts are disputed, but many are not. And, it can be easily verified that links to the article were removed from other credible publications (e.g. MIT Technology Review) long before the lawsuit was filed. Separately, I pointed out the article identifies no sources for its allegations, there is no other article I can find (or one that anyone has put forth) that independently makes the same allegations, and the article does not state that it sought comment or confirmation from the subject of the article as to the facts alleged in the article (no "the subject said this in response" nor "the subject declined to comment" nor "the subject was unreachable"), which would be standard journalistic practice. Also, the article was published only a few days after an article on the same topic in the Verge with contributions from the same writer was retracted by the editor in chief who acknowledged it was false. So, while the Verge may be a reliable source in general, when it comes to this specific topic, author, editor and timeframe, in my view they have admitted they are not a reliable source. And, in my view, with no identified sources and no statement of an effort to confirm the facts, it does not meet basic journalistic standards.
As a Wikipedia novice, I was assuming such journalistic standards would apply to the reliability of the article to Wikipedia, just as they would to a credible journalistic publication and, consistent with at least the MIT Technology Review, in my view, the link to the article should be removed. It certainly would not meet the reliability standards as a reference for anything that I've published. But, I now understand that Wikipedia has its own standards for reliability, and I'm learning what they are.
This article is biographical information about a living person, the CEO of OnLive. I've also learned that BLP follows different standards than non-BLP reliability. By my read of BLP policy, any BLP article that identifies no sources, is disputed, has been removed by other credible publications, has no other article confirming the same information, and was published days after an article with same topic, writer, editor and publisher was retracted should be immediately removed, but again, I'm a novice. NorthBySouthBaranof said they would evaluate the article in terms of BLP standards, but apparently has not had time to do so. Is there another editor who can make that evaluation? Or is it something I should post on the BLP Noticeboard. I appreciate everyone's help as I'm learning.Starkcasted (talk)

Would an experienced editor kindly advise me on the process of posting this citation for review on the BLP Noticeboard? I'm doing my best to understand Wikipedia policy, but there are subtleties and protocol I'm only gleaning from participating in discussions. This citation is an article about a living person, it does not identify sources, there are no corroborating sources, and there is controversy about the article's reliability. By my read of WP:BLP policy, that falls short of its reliability standards. But, WP:BLP also notes that care should be taken in posting on the BLP Noticeboard, including in some cases not making a public posting at all. I'd like to be respectful of that, and would be grateful if someone could help me with some guidelines. Thank you.Starkcasted (talk) 16:04, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Would an answer in a Reddit AMA be admissible as a reliable primary source?

I was looking at Amy's Baking Company and I remembered that Gordon Ramsay did an "AMA" (Ask me Anything) session on Reddit a while ago. Inevitably he was asked about the episode in question and replied here. Many notable people have done AMAs, including Barack Obama, and it seems to me that there is a significant measure of editorial oversight with these - in fact in many cases the AMA is conducted via telephone with a Reddit employee actually typing the answers. Those that are not are always verified by the moderators. In the context of the limited use we prefer for primary sources, would these be considered a valid citation on an article? In this case for example, could we include a quote of Ramsay's comments in the episode article? I'm not really interested per se in this article, but I'm wondering if a Reddit AMA has ever landed on RSN and what, if any, was the consensus. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 21:10, 7 May 2015 (UTC)

Not sure if there are any precedents to which I can refer you, but I suspect that this is going to be one of those situations where edge cases are dealt with by noticeboard (this one, WP:BLPN, and so forth). Concerns akin to those raised by WP:SPS arise, as well as the usual WP:WEIGHT (and NPOV in general) issues, plus the question of what should be quoted versus paraphrased, attributed versus stated in Wikipedia's voice. TenOfAllTrades(talk) 22:00, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
I would say that it is extremely hard to think of a situation where we would use a Reddit AMA as a source. If a post is noteworthy enough to include in an encyclopedia article, it ought to have been picked up by reliable secondary sources. In extremely rare cases we might be able to use things from there to fill in trivial details as per the very strict limits under self-published and questionable sources as sources on themselves, but never for anything that is even slightly controversial, exceptional, or self-serving. However, to be clear, there is no editorial oversight whatsoever for these beyond verifying who the speaker is (which is nowhere near sufficient evidence in the sense that we use the term); therefore, at most, it could be used for utterly-uncontroversial, definitely-not-self-serving facts about the article subject which do not touch on anyone else... and my feeling is that things that fall into that category and which are actually relevant are probably covered by better sources anyway. --Aquillion (talk) 23:07, 7 May 2015 (UTC)
Aquillon's sound advice essentially summarizes the Wikipedia policy on primary sources. Primary sources are usable but "only with care" according to that policy. It's usually best to refer to a secondary source that draws upon the primary source or sources. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:18, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
From the standpoint of "is the source reliable?" a Reddit AMA is definitely a reliable primary source, because the subject has to prove his/her identity. In this case Gordon Ramsay did so here. However, as others have pointed out, it isn't just reliable, but also primary, and thus subject to all of the limitations we place on primary sources. For example, we wouldn't put anything in the Amy's Baking Company article based on it, but if we had a properly sourced and proper weight section in that article where the the owner of Amy's Baking Company made a comment about Gordon Ramsay, a comment by him (not by someone else in the Reddit thread) in the Reddit AMA could be used as a rebuttal just as we would use any other reliable primary source. --Guy Macon (talk) 04:03, 8 May 2015 (UTC)
In the Wikipedia Reddit article’s AMA subsection, most AMA subjects are listed as providing informative and open answers, but a few are listed as controversial or providing evasive answers. So, whether or not Reddit AMA is acceptable as a primary source, I think the reliability of the individual session must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, rather than consider Reddit AMA to be reliable in all cases.Starkcasted (talk) 15:54, 9 May 2015 (UTC)
That's true of all primary sources. We can only use them to support things like "person X said Y". Whether Y is informative or evasive is not something we are allowed to say unless a reliable secondary source says so first, and of course the comments by the others in the Reddit thread are not reliable sources for anything. --Guy Macon (talk) 14:39, 10 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks all, this was interesting. Like I said, it was really a theoretical thing, but I have a feeling it will crop up sooner or later. I agree that something like this should be treated very much like a primary source of low quality and used very sparingly, if at all. §FreeRangeFrogcroak 17:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Muslims in Britain mosque directory

Editor MiBorg wants to add material about the number of mosques in Birmingham, based on this map. The editor explains on the article talk page:

In respect of WP:RS, I am the owner of the source website; the data is crowd-sourced, verified by me, and published back to "the crowd". I and the website are a cited authority on the subject matter: briefly citations include British Religion in Numbers (, Innes Bowen's recent "Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent", the Defence Academy of the UK's Shrivenham Papers Number 1, OSCE's ODIHR (,gbr,tool&qid=6b6e41dadf4d07c45d1d79026f20dea8&format=doc_list&sort=pubdate&items=5&offset=55), and a number of academic citations referencing my name or the website.

What do people think about whether this is a reliable source? Cordless Larry (talk) 17:16, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

My concern with it is that it's primary and user-generated (although with MiBorg's verification, though what that involves, I don't know). It would be helpful if one of the secondary sources mentioned have reported a figure for Birmingham, based on the map. Cordless Larry (talk) 17:51, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Looks like someone trying to garner high-value links for their website to me. Why can't we use the sources MiBorg quotes and avoid the middleman? --Pete (talk) 21:57, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
We call this WP:REFSPAM. The answer is: No. Guy (Help!) 21:53, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


Is it okay to add a statement like: "Rawat offers original creations in music and photography on the internet" to the Prem Rawat article and source it with [1] ? Or do we have to ignore it for being promotional? --Rainer P. (talk) 16:10, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

It still smells like spam. bobrayner (talk) 23:00, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Please, the idea was not to discuss editors' personal taste, but to observe Wikipedia policy.--Rainer P. (talk) 10:20, 12 May 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ www.rawatcreations
No. Find a reliable secondary source. Guy (Help!) 21:54, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Is (Oxford Uni student newspaper) a reliable source?

I was just looking at the article on Oxford University Conservative Association, which cites a lot of its information from Cherwell (newspaper). There was a topic at the RSN about this years ago that Wikipedia:Reliable_sources/Noticeboard/Archive_36#Cherwell.org_-_Student_news_and_reviews_at_Oxford_University concluded it shouldnt be used for BLPs, but not about its general reliability. I've tried to search through the archives for information about student newspapers in general but there doesnt seem to be any definite guideline.Bosstopher (talk) 11:04, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

Can you provide the URL? Sometimes although rarely, we have some good ones from Dailymail, it clearly depends upon the URL that you are using. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 11:20, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
There's quite a few used.[33][34][35][36][37] Cherwell has a big editorial board and is run by Oxford Student Publications Limited. Based on (very slight) personal knowledge I also think they have some sort of legal oversight for articles (though I cant find any info about this online). Also your mention of the Daily Mail has made me notice that a lot of the other sources used in this article are student newspapers (the Oxford Student), and Daily Mail/Imdb style sources. Bosstopher (talk) 11:33, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Then you can wholly discard each of them. Student newspaper should not be really considered unless you are trying to confirm the existence of the information, although honest confirmation would require a WP:RS. OccultZone (TalkContributionsLog) 13:25, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
I has editorial oversight and therefore meets rs. But that always depends on how it is used. News reporting in student newspapers is acceptable for facts about student groups at their university. TFD (talk) 00:57, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

The National (Scottish Independence newspaper)

There is a new Scottish newspaper called the National which is billed as a supporter of Scottish Independence and seems to be becoming popular to add as a source of criticism of political opponents of nationalism. I'm skeptical - it looks at best a highly partisan tabloid with articles such as Wee Ginger Dug. Is it reasonable to exclude this as a source for BLP? --nonsense ferret 02:58, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

I would say to just be careful with the site. It looks decently reliable, however it is obviously biased towards nationalism and Scottish Independence. Wikipedia states that reliable sources should have a neutral point of view, however it is not required. Biased sites may be used because it could be reliable in a specific context. Just make sure to do some fact checking when citing from the National, especially on more critical matters. You can also look here for more information: WP:BIASED. Hope this helps. Cheers, Comatmebro ~Come at me~