Wikipedia Equality/Paper3

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Wikipedia Equality Notability Discussion Paper #3: Verifiability and NPOV[edit]

Q: Abolishing the Notability Criteria will make the enforcement of the verifiability criteria and the neutral point of view (NPOV) policy difficult.

A: We appreciate that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia with no original research permitted, and the verifiability criteria is to be strictly enforced. This will not change after the Notability Criteria is abolished. Does Verifiability Always Need Notability? No!

Some Wikipedians have said that the Notability Criteria is essential for the enforcement of the verifiability criteria, as several reliable, independent sources are required to verify a claim. However, this is not the case for every kind of information that may exist on a Wikipedia page. For example, for the discography of musical artists or lists of the works of authors, we just need to prove that those works exist. A reference to Amazon or an online music store will suffice in this circumstance.

On the other hand, if the page makes a claim that the subject has won a certain award, this claim needs to be verifiable, or it must be deleted. Again, this verification does not necessarily need to involve reliable sources in mainstream media. The official website of the awarding organization can provide sufficient evidence.

Therefore, when the Notability Criteria is abolished, the verifiability criteria can remain intact, and should continue to be strictly enforced. Does Neutral Point of View Depend on Notability? No!

Regarding the NPOV (neutral point of view) policy, there is no reason why articles on non-notable subjects are any more liable to deviate from the policy, compared with articles on notable subjects. A neutral, matter-of-fact tone is enforced on all articles in Wikipedia, and this enforcement will be extended to articles about non-notable subjects. Anything that reads like an advertisement will be deleted, as per current policy. As non-verifiable claims are banned on Wikipedia, there is also no way for a page to contain subjective praise or criticism of a subject, unless such praise or criticism has been found in a third-party, reliable source. This is the same for notable and non-notable subjects.

Recommendations from this Discussion Paper[edit]

Recommendation 9: The verifiability criteria should be clarified to state that, where the information provided pertains to the existence of a certain book or work of art, a reference to where this book or work of art can be obtained or purchased is sufficient evidence. However, additional claims of acclaim or criticism for any such works will require reliable evidence to be provided.

Recommendation 10: The verifiability criteria should be clarified to state that, for value-neutral biographical details of human subjects (e.g. date and place of birth), information that is believed to be provided by the subject themselves beyond all reasonable doubt should be acceptable, as long as it is clearly stated that the information comes from the subject themselves (e.g. ‘The subject has stated that she was born in New York in 1975.’)

Recommendation 11: All Wikipedia pages must meet the (revised) verifiability criteria, for all of their content. New pages failing to meet this criteria will be speedily deleted. Edits failing to meet this criteria will be instantly rolled back.