RationalWiki talk:What is a RationalWiki article?

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On pejoratives[edit]

I just thought I'd mention that very often editors have a habit of inserting pejoratives in biographical articles without reference texts of any kind, perhaps with the idea it is snarky to do so. As a matter of style, I believe it would be good to at least suggest to our editors that when they express snarky opinions that amount to very basic name-calling, that they attribute that opinion to a third party. e.g., "Ben Shapiro is an insufferable asshole." If some media personality is really deserving of being called an asshole (like Shapiro), then someone has already done it. Ariel31459 (talk) 19:56, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

No - David Gerard (talk) 19:08, 9 November 2020 (UTC)
Just a suggestion.Ariel31459 (talk) 21:02, 9 November 2020 (UTC)

The Time Cube dilemma[edit]

Whilst I'm sympathetic to the idea of more stringent notability requirements, I'm struggling to see a formulation that a) solves the problem of an excess of shit articles about YouTube nonentities, and b) leaves space to cover obscure, but hilarious / fascinating, cranks like Gene Ray.

  • Did his Time Cube proselytising cause any direct, immediate harm? No.
  • Was it likely to lead people towards other anti-science / conspiratorial ways of thinking? No.
  • Was there any wider coverage beyond the sceptic community's pointing & laughing? No.
  • Would the sum total of human knowledge be noticeably poorer if Ray and his ideas disappeared without a trace? No, but...

I raise this mostly because people can become dogmatic AF when it comes to these periodic exercises in flushing out the bilges of the wiki, and I've seen perfectly good (and really fucking funny) articles nuked because a determined band of editors are on a crusade to Improve Things Around Here.

So, whatever notability criteria are eventually agreed, I'd like to see a final test applied before people start leaping on an article for deletion:

  1. Does it relate to the mission?
  2. Is it well written?
  3. Is it funny?
  4. In terms of batshit wtf?, where does it stand on a decimal scale of 0-1 Time Cubes?

I suggest that, if the answer to 1) is yes, then a yes to 2) and 3) should be sufficient to save the article. If the answers to 2) and 3) are no (or whatever combination of yes & no), then consideration should be given to 4) as to whether the article should be flagged for improvement, rather than deletion.

And whilst it's obviously a silly, subjective scale, I'd argue anything at half a Time Cube and above is probably worth fixing and preserving. Helena Bonham Carter (talk) 20:11, 30 October 2020 (UTC)

Option 3[edit]

If we were to focus more on concepts than personalities, it might be easier if this was a "preffered guideline". What I mean by this is we would try to summarize a person's behavior into an article, (named or not, whichever is more useful) for example Lineham under transphobia and/or TERFs, and if that fails due to the nature of that person's behavior we allow a brief article on them, with the caveat that it be well written and sourced, rather than a listicle. This should allow some level of flexibility, while also pressuring people contributing more than lists or quotes, both of which are low effort and low information value. Thoughts? ☭Comrade GC☭Ministry of Praise 19:23, 2 November 2020 (UTC)

Good post! Yeah, this seems like a good idea to me. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 23:08, 2 November 2020 (UTC)
You know what, I'm going to say that not using the real names of internet personalities even if they have revealed their own real names themselves is a step too far. If they haven't revealed their own real names, however, we should only give them if there's a reliable source for them, like The New York Times, The Guardian or the BBC. And like I've said before, that was really the only thing that Hastur suggested that was completely new. Concentrating on ideas over people, not writing libel and not writing about nobodies were all brought up and agreed to years ago. And I'll say again that I would fully support revising our policy on which YouTubers get articles and would fully support a Second Great YouTube Purge. Spud (talk) 01:27, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Can you give a rationale for not using a citable self-revealed real name? Bongolian (talk) 02:38, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
@Bongolian Who? Me? I just said I think it's perfectly OK to use their real names if they've revealed them themselves. Spud (talk) 06:07, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
Ooops. Bongolian (talk) 06:19, 3 November 2020 (UTC)

If there is a consensus to delete articles with a new article policy, what ones?[edit]

Is RationalWiki now deciding to delete articles on random trolls like Rome Viharo? What articles would be kept? Only notable pseudoscientists or political extremists? MrYellow (talk) 02:52, 3 November 2020 (UTC)

I recently created the Nathan Larson article. Is that the sort of article RationalWiki wants? Or does it now want to remove these? MrYellow (talk) 02:54, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
There is no decision because there has yet to be a vote on a policy change. Bongolian (talk) 03:01, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
A policy change such as this will require a 2/3 majority of voters (RationalWiki:Community Standards#Common guidelines). So, unless it's a minor, narrow or compelling change, its likely to be difficult to get a change in policy. Bongolian (talk) 03:05, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
I don't think the Nathan Larson article is in danger. Running for Congress, found guilty of making death threats against George W. Bush. He's a public figure. And if he was notable enough to have a newspaper story about him in Haaretz, he's notable enough for us. Spud (talk) 06:21, 3 November 2020 (UTC)
@Bongolian No two thirds rule is in application here. The 2/3rd rule pertains to penalty votes to do with users on our site. This page is subject to a regular policy vote, which is a simple majority. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 11:00, 3 November 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────From RationalWiki:Community Standards#Common guidelines:

In policy votes and penalty votes dealing with a user's removal from the site (temporarily or permanently), a positive option (an option that is not "nay" or "none of the above") must accrue a two-thirds majority of votes to pass.

Both policy votes and penalty votes must last between seven and fourteen days.

Bongolian (talk) 19:32, 9 November 2020 (UTC)

user. People we have articles on are not our users. Techpriest (I am Alpharius! / Pencil.png / Tux icon.png / Shield.png) 21:43, 9 November 2020 (UTC)
Bongolian. That quote from the CS doesn't mean what you seem to think it means. Pizza SLICE.gifChef Moosolini’s Ristorante ItalianoMake a Reservation 22:39, 9 November 2020 (UTC)
It seemed grammatically ambiguous to me. Bongolian (talk) 03:10, 10 November 2020 (UTC)
Kind of agree with Bongolian here -- I think the line could be clarified. I had taken it to mean policy votes in general as well. (Maybe clarify to "In those that deal with a user's removal from the site (temporarily or permanently), both policy votes and penalty votes require that a positive option...") ℕoir LeSable (talk) 22:23, 10 November 2020 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I looked back at the discussions that resulted in that text,[1] and it seemed to me like people were considering policy votes as a separated entity, not specifically as they might affect penalty votes. The only 3 people who voted then who are now active are @Ace McWicked, @Hastur (User:Brxbrx at the time), and @Nutty Roux. Do any of you want to weigh in on what this means on the Community Standards page?

In policy votes and penalty votes dealing with a user's removal from the site (temporarily or permanently), a positive option (an option that is not "nay" or "none of the above") must accrue a two-thirds majority of votes to pass. In all other types of penalty votes, a positive option must accrue a simple majority of votes to pass.

Does this mean that the two-thirds vote applies to:

  1. A) Policy votes and B) penalty votes dealing with a user's removal —or—
  2. A) Policy votes and dealing with a user's removal B) penalty votes dealing with a user's removal

My understanding of the discussion was that it was interpretation A. If that's the case, I propose rewording the text as: "In policy votes, and in penalty votes dealing with a user's removal… If it's the second interpretation, I propose rewording the text as "In policy votes dealing with a user's removal, and penalty votes dealing with a user's removal…" Bongolian (talk) 18:03, 22 November 2020 (UTC)


Background details[edit]

See RationalWiki:Saloon bar#categories for the first thread, and see also RationalWiki:Saloon bar#categories again. for the second thread.

AMG has made the following proposal, which I shall call a minimum proposal:

# “[At] the very least stop non sysops and bons doing anything with cats”,

The first aim of this discussion concerns restricting who can use categories. In particular, restricting the use of categories to sysops.

Discussion and proposals[edit]