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Forum:Notability?

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Hello, I'm new here and I had a quick question - apologies if it's been asked before but I did some searches and I'm afraid I can't find anything about it on the help pages. What are RationalWiki's rules on notability of subjects? Baljit (talk) 10:43, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

We have mission relevancy, rather than notability. A lot of stuff isn't relevant though, so kind of relaxed. - π 10:20, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Just wondering because I made an article about a fundie who's rather prominent in right-wing British nationalist circles online (Alan O'Reilly), but it was deleted on the grounds of a lack of notability, so I'm kind of unsure as to what the qualifying criteria for a subject like that is. Baljit (talk) 10:43, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
How is he prominent? This is the lead section of the article you wrote:
Alan O'Reilly (also known under his pseudonym of alanorei) is a young earth creationist, geocentrist, biblical literalist, British National Party member and massive racist who lives in the United Kingdom. He regularly posts comments at various blogs, particularly Sarah Maid of Albion and 21st Century British Nationalism
The rest of the article was about his views. Unless the guy has his own blog, or has appeared on TV or written a book, he's probably not that notable. ONE / TALK 12:35, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
Weeelll... I say "prominent" mainly because of the widespread nature of his rants, since I've seen him turn up as a regular commentator on quite a few blogs, including one or two key ones in the British far-right scene. He's attracted the attention of the Lancaster UAF blog ([1]) and FSTDT (do a search on "alanorei" there and it'll turn up two pages of his quotes). His own blog hasn't been updated in years and isn't that remarkable ([2]), but he writes guest posts for the Sarah Maid of Albion blog ([3]) and was involved in the Blackaganda blog somehow ([4]). He's written a book called Britain Under Siege, but since it was probably a small-press affair I'm not sure if it counts. It's fine if he doesn't meet the criteria for notability, I'm just wondering what the dividing line between him and, say, PPSIMMONS or TheTruthless666 is since most of my contributions here will probably be about net nutters.Baljit (talk) 13:44, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
In that case I would say your article was rather hastily deleted. Restore it, but put a bit more emphasis on how he's notable (especially the book thing). I'm not sure if you're a sysop yet so if you can't restore it, ask me on my talk page. ONE / TALK 15:47, 24 March 2011 (UTC)
We've never had any notability guidelines so deletion for "non notability" would seem a bit odd. On the other hand it stands to reason that we would want some sort of notability otherwise we could conceivably have articles on every creationist in the world. So maybe some standards would be a good idea.--BobSpring is sprung! 13:12, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
It's a bit of a judgement call. We do cover a lot of websites & internet pundits like bloggers & YouTubers which wouldn't meet Wikipedia's notability criteria, but we shouldn't bother with obscure blogs or websites which attract little outside attention. If it's a guy who mostly just posts comments on other people's blogs & sites, it's probably not worth writing about. If he's already much discussed within the blogosphere (whatever that is), then fair enough. ŴêâŝêîôîďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 21:20, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
We should have articles on nearly any significant scam or crazy fundie out there that can be reasonably identifiable. If someone can write an article about a random poster to the internet with lots of content about his views and his posts, then I would say there is sufficient material to make an article about him. So that, if someone comes across the person's posts, if they could readily and easily find the RW page, or should expect that there would be one... then it should be here. So, no not ever Creationist, because we can't readily identify, nor profile all of them. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 23:54, 25 March 2011 (UTC)
I think on-mission is far more important than notability (and even being on-mission is fairly loose) as the c-list (or z-list) cranks don't get much coverage outside of the crank echo chambers. A Google search suggests "Alan O'Reilly Twitter" so someone must be reading his stuff. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:34, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

Silly concept[edit]

Notability is a stupid concept for this site to use because we thrive on the stuff that isn't actually notable. Project Blue Beam? Only a few professional conspiracy nuts even know about it. Flat Earth? Not be taken seriously because no one really believes it. Poe's Law? Wasn't in print until recently. The point of RW is to take something apart in a rational manner, not decide whether it's worth doing it. If there's a bad argument, it serves as a demonstration of a bad argument. Period. It doesn't matter if 10, 100, or 100,000 people follow it. The content should be judged on the strength of its quality, not its quantity and therefore any guideline on "notability" will run up against very worthwhile causes that otherwise fail to meet this criteria. Notability should be for Wikipedia, which we are not. Scarlet A.pngbomination 12:49, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

I agree that missionality is more important than notability. P-Foster was probably just being P-Foster. ТyTalk. 12:59, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Indeed. Notability is nonsensical for this site. As has been said here numerous times: WE ARE NOT WIKIPEDIA!!! We have a mission statement, and if someone or something is on-mission, then the article should stay. I've made more than a few articles about things local to Minneapolis, but none of them was ever questioned about their relevancy because they were on-mission with the site. When one also takes into consideration that we've, at least since I've arrived, always thrived in being able to pick out and create articles about people who are less-than well-known because, when one searches for that person on the internet (for example), the one of first sources they may find is RationalWiki. Therefore, I would argue the complete opposite of the "notability" standard and say that, as long as we can establish sources and mission relevance, we should go full-speed ahead with an article. Lord of the Goons The official spikey-haired skeptical punk 13:54, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Cf. wp:Long Tail. Scarlet A.pngbomination 14:00, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
OK, I'd agree that that relevance to the mission is the crucial factor.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:30, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
Thinking about it, I think we should add it to community standards because we will hear about this again.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:32, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Further more[edit]

Deleting all those youtube pages WITHOUT discussion about their content and quality on the talkpages is absolutely against the what the rules have always been here. If you want an article deleted, fine. Throw a delete template up, and take it to the talkpage. But deletion without discussion is a violation of a sacred community standard here. AnarchoGoon Swatting Assflys is how I earn my living 14:05, 30 March 2011 (UTC)

Lovin' the use of "sacred" there. Scarlet A.pngbomination 14:07, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
On the other hand it is in accordance with another tradition here:
  • If you want something done which you are convinced is right and you don't want other people to discuss it endlessly then just do it and try to survive the HCM.
I've never liked that one, but you do see it around.--BobSpring is sprung! 15:28, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
It seems to me that this is an instance of our own wp:WP:BOLD. All "sacred community standards" can and should be broken if they are obstructive in the extreme to the project. Whether or not this YouTube incident is an example of that is debatable. Uke Blue 21:10, 31 March 2011 (UTC)
Heh, I recall thinking about that when I changed the delete templates after the endless debate went no where. I think I've told Dalek before as well. ТyTalk. 21:11, 31 March 2011 (UTC)