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Proposal talk:No arbitrary control of topics

From Strategic Planning
Latest comment: 14 years ago by Philippe in topic Impact?

This proposal outlines a (perceived) problem but gives no solutions. --Bodnotbod 18:17, 18 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Equal time for global warming deniers, also, those who want to keep the government out of Medicare should be given a section in that article on Wikipedia 06:00, 23 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Equal time for those who think that the Earth is flat, and those who believe that the moon is made of green cheese.
This perceived problem actually gets brought up all the time on Wikinews. People say things like "Well, CNN covered both sides of this story, so why won't Wikinews?". But the problem is that CNN artificially inserts "balance" into their stories. When CNN has a story about the moon being made of rocks, they will go out and scour the Earth looking for someone who thinks that it is made of green cheese. Then they have a two sided story; one side of the story is truth, and the other side is a load of garbage, but they don't care. All they want is an artificial sense of balance in their stories.
But you know what? Balance only exists when you're dealing with *opinion*, not when you're listing facts. On CNN and FOX they have a lot of editorials, so it often makes sense to have a balanced approach, because editorials are just opinion pieces. But on Wikinews and Wikipedia we have a no-editorial policy (as a side effect of NPoV). When there is no opinion allowed, there can be no balance. This is because only facts are reported — and there is only one set of facts. There is no opinion involved in reporting in an article that the Earth orbits the sun, or that the moon is made of rocks instead of green cheese. These are simply facts. And due to NPoV facts are all that we can report.
So this supposed problem that gets brought up over and over again is only an issue because some people like to believe in things that have no evidence. Because we can't report on things that have no evidence (due to NPoV), they hate Wikimedia. There is no bigfoot on Wikispecies, Wikipedia doesn't have an editorial proclaiming the Plasma Universe nutters to be correct (they aren't. All evidence is flat against them), and Wikinews can't carry a story about NASA with "both sides" of the Apollo Moon Hoax conspiracy (cause there aren't two sides. *All* evidence points to the moon landings being real, including pictures of the landing sights from orbital probes). They're all the same: Conspiracy theorists, second-hand smoke deniers, global warming deniers (10 years ago these people weren't nuts, because there was insufficient evidence for AGW. Now they're nutters, because they refuse to acknowledge any evidence that goes against their locked-in (almost religious) belief system), AIDS-causes-HIV deniers (you have no idea how many of those we get), germ theory deniers (they think that sickness is caused by magic. No, I'm not making that up:P), etc. They want to have their opinions inserted into articles, when there are no facts to back them up. And that is simply against policy, as it should be. We are NPoV, whereas an agency like CNN is not. That means they can run with those silly editorial pieces about nonsense, but we can't.
So really there is no issue. These people are ultimately arguing that we should get ride of NPoV policy and start publishing opinion pieces in lieu of factually based articles. Oh, but not in every article of course. Just in the particular article where the individual in question has an unsubstantiated belief:P. It's always amusing to have the people who fervently believe that HIV doesn't cause AIDS attack the people who fervently believe that NASA faked the moon landings for being illogical... and vise versa;) (but of course the Soviets didn't notice... no wait! They must have been in on it too! Pffffffffftt).Gopher65talk 13:05, 23 August 2009 (UTC)Reply


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:14, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply