RationalWiki:Articles for deletion/Oliver Canby 2015

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Oliver Canby | Result: Kept after rewrite[edit]

This is an archive page for an article that has been AfDed multiple times. For the most recent AfD for this article, see here.

Oliver Canby (edit|talk|history|protect|delete|links|watch|logs) – (View log)


  1. I'm not sure the article should be deleted, but I need someone to convince me that this isn't just an excuse to point at a guy who obviously has some issues and laugh. Just because he has a blog and says stuff doesn't mean we need to be talking about his personal life/sex life/wacko beliefs. Please advise. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 06:46, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
FWIW - it's about four death threats, media coverage of a court loss, the madness of the curebie movement (as I mentioned below) and not about laughing at him. He's dead serious in what he has said, and frankly that's not worth laughing at. It's worth exposing for what it is. Delusion on the levels that has much content on RationalWiki - homophobia and religion for a couple. BankBox (talk) 03:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
If this article is about someone prominent in the "curebie movement," then I should not have been able to spend an hour editing it and never encounter that term until we get to a discussion about deleting the article. That is not how writing works. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 04:01, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Fuck it. Have it your way. You want it gone. It's gone. BankBox (talk) 04:59, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  1. Author has LANCB. I doubt anybody else is interested enough to work on it. WéáśéĺóíďWeaselly.jpgMethinks it is a Weasel 08:12, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
    This seems like a bad reason for deletion. AH and me (but mostly AH) worked on it. The current article is substantially different from what it was 2 days ago when the author left. Carpetsmoker (talk) 08:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)


  1. I'm going to vote "keep", on the basis that I have a peeve with the obsession on "notability", especially since we are often dealing with people and suggestions that are inherently of low notability, in a general sense. To pull an example, the article on Stars are Souls demonstrates that even nutty people can add significantly to the rich rapestry of crankery; indeed they must, in my opinion. But I'm going to direct everyone's attention to this exchange on the matter; the existence of an anonymous blog specifically targeting this Oliver Canby, and using some of the same legal jargon against him as this article does. There appears to be a tiny crusade underway against Mr. Canby, and all we know is that atleast one physical person is involved in it. I already asked BankBox if he is in fact this "The Officer" character, but he pleaded not guilty to that. But again, I'm going to toss the presence of "The Officer" and his blog into this discussion for you fine people, since you are all apparently queasy about this whole situation. All I'm really saying is that; we should figure out if there is more to this (per the link) - and just generally, I don't think we should delete on the basis of lacking notability. Besides that specific reason however, I'm quite receptive to other motivations. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 18:51, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
  2. I am comfortable with the current version. Carpetsmoker (talk) 08:26, 16 November 2015 (UTC)



  • Unsure myself. The guy says terrible things, but has he been noticed much outside his own blog? This slightly sets off my "making fun of the crazy person" alarm - David Gerard (talk) 14:25, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes he has. See the news coverage links of the defamation action. BankBox (talk) 03:48, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • My main concern here is one of fairness. We're already the 6th result when you enter this person's name on Google. Being on the first page in a Google result for a person's name is a kind of responsibility... Much of the material in our page is based on posts from 2010/2011, when he was 17/18 years old... Not necessarily saying we can't have a page on this guy, but the current page makes me feel uneasy... Carpetsmoker (talk) 18:26, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
The core section is the 28th Amendment - that's the last few months. BankBox (talk) 03:48, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, but there is (was?) also a lot of stuff from earlier... Note that I didn't say we should delete this, just that we should think about being fair, and that in 2010 he was quite young ;-) Carpetsmoker (talk) 05:29, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • What David and Carpet said. ClothCoat (talk) 19:02, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
  • As much as Reverend wants to rant about Notability not mattering, it clearly does because we don't cover every possible person who says dumb things - is Canby notable outside his own world and now us?--"Paravant" Talk & Contribs 19:04, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
All I'm implying is that I'm personally very much open to being convinced of the virtues of deleting said article. I just suggest that a notability claim not be the sole basis of any possible attempts to rally my vote, and I point out diligently that I'm very much in favor of entertaining the nuances of this discussion. Writing that off as "me ranting" is unconvincing, never mind uninclusive towards FCP. That being said, atleast Mr Canby is noticable enough to gain coverage from atleast one editor here (had anyone heard of this Canby fellow before?), let alone having a blog dedicated to destroying him. If that's enough, I can't say. But my vote stands for the time being. Reverend Black Percy (talk) 22:38, 14 November 2015 (UTC)
My problem is less the notability and more the rather personal nature of much of the material and in making hay out of the things saud by a potentially struggling individual. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 00:11, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
I must say I'm a little concerned with that "Officer" figure and his blog. What's your two cents on comparing the style and contents of that blog and the style and contents of the article, prior to your revisions to it? Reverend Black Percy (talk) 01:03, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Hippie, if you were to say to him (and this has been done by many on his blog) that he is struggling he will totally deny it. Here's something to consider. He can be seen as a poster boy of the curebie movement (ie - those who demand autism be cured) and reflects the delusion of said movement. Just a thought. BankBox (talk) 03:48, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Okay, but the article does shit-all to say anything like that or to link him to any sort of broader context/debate/discourse about Aspies/ausitsm/neurodiversity, or anything. Not a fucking word. Instead, it's just a catalog of mean-spirited/stupid/misguided things that some rando on the internet has said. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 03:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Some of the stuff in the article might be relevant for the cross-over between anti-vaxxers and mental illness denial, but that larger context needs to be made clear. Otherwise, we just get a(n apparently wholly justified) denunciation of a crank who rants on his blog and responds aggressively when challenged, a phenomenon which is a dime a dozen on the web. There does seem to be some rather unique crankery (and crank magnetism) involved, but apart from offhand references to Wakefield and John Best, Canby's relation to/place within the larger anti-vaxx movement is never made clear and that vis-a-vis the mental illness denial crowd seems to be left entirely unexplored. Possibly, there's connection between these kinds of denialism and what seems to be a branch of fundamentalist Christian conservatism, considering his attitudes to homosexuality, the death penalty, and "liberal bias". If so, that could be the theme that ties the article together, both in terms of its internal narrative and Canby's place in the context of these larger trends. ScepticWombat (talk) 06:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)