Wikipedia Equality/Recommendations

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Recommendations for Wikipedia Equality, Version 1.0[edit]

These recommendations were developed in mid-2017, and are intended as a starting point for discussion. They provide a realistic framework for abolishing and replacing the Notability Criteria. We are not saying that these recommendations provide the perfect policy, but they nevertheless provide a starting position to work with.

Recommendation 1: In general, Wikipedia pages should be about subjects that have had a substantial cultural contribution to the totality of human culture. A substantial cultural contribution is defined as the authorship (if a human subject) or the main subject (if a non-human subject) of a minimum of one musical album of at least four tracks, one book of at least 100 pages (except self-help books, manuals and guidelines), one podcast or blog discussing matter(s) of public interest actively maintained for at least two years, one idea that has received coverage in at least 5 reliable sources (reliability as per the verifiability policy), or equivalent contribution in other formats. Such contributions can be commercially published or self-published, but there must be a clear intent on the author’s behalf to publish, thereby contributing to the totality of human culture. Such contributions must also have been made in good faith, e.g. not to deliberately create a circumstance where the subject can have a Wikipedia page so they can promote their own business.

Recommendation 2: Non-cultural commercial products (e.g. appliances, tools and gadgets) are only considered to have had a substantial cultural contribution if they have received substantial coverage in mainstream news sources over time, or if it can be proven that they have a substantial community of users. This is because such products do not have any inherent cultural value in and of themselves. The average toothbrush does not have unique cultural value, but the iPod does because it has become a cultural phenomenon. Such products are not considered to have had a substantial cultural contribution even if a book has been written about them (since many such products would come with a user manual, for example). (On the other hand, computer programming languages are NOT non-cultural commercial products, therefore as long as there has been a book or equivalent published about such languages, they constitute substantial cultural contributions.)

Recommendation 3: Individual works of one author or artist should not have separate pages, unless the author or artist’s main page is already more than 5,000 words in total. (This recommendation is to replace the current Notability criteria for books and music etc., so that there would not be an explosion in the number of pages for these things once the Notability criteria is abolished.)

Recommendation 4: Wherever human subjects do not meet the cultural contribution criteria, they must meet one of the following criteria to have a page:

  • The historical figure criteria: a historical figure that has inspired substantial public discussion in later generations (this cannot apply to living people);
  • The newsworthy criteria: a person or organization who has been the subject of news reports in mainstream media, generating newsworthy interest that is not limited to a short duration of time. This essentially covers all cases where subjects meet the current Notability criteria but not the new cultural contribution criteria (e.g. sportspeople).

Recommendation 5: For businesses to be included in Wikipedia, they must meet a special Notability criteria for Businesses, equivalent to the current Notability criteria. Business is defined as any for-profit organization. Individuals whose business’s name substantially matches their own name (including sole proprietors conducting business in their own name), and individuals involved in the adult entertainment business are also included in this policy.

Recommendation 6: Even for subjects who otherwise fulfill the criteria to have a Wikipedia page, there must be no mention of nor any links to any of the businesses they are associated with, unless such businesses meet the Notability criteria.

Recommendation 7: For self-help books, manuals and guidelines to be included (or count as a cultural contribution) in Wikipedia, they must meet a special Notability criteria for self-help books, equivalent to the current Notability criteria. If an autobiography contains substantial self-help content, this policy also applies.

Recommendation 8: Even for subjects who otherwise fulfill the criteria to have a Wikipedia page, except for title-only inclusions in lists of works, there must be no mention of any of the self-help books they are associated with, unless such self-help books meet the Notability criteria. Any links to such self-help books must only be for verifiability purposes, and must be no-follow. Also, such lists including self-help books are only allowed if the majority of books are not self-help books.

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.