Wikipedia:Disinfoboxes: a refutation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The essay Disinfoboxes claims that "Disinfoboxes are infobox templates that add no value to articles". This is very misleading. The value added to articles by infoboxes is inherent and is evident in:

  • Providing a quick reference to key facts about the subject, in a format easily accessible to those in a hurry or with limited reading skills;
  • Making facts available in a machine-readable format, using microformats and other techniques to emit metadata;
  • Allowing data to be more easily exported to, or displayed from, Wikidata.

The essay is often cited as a reason not to add an infobox to an article. This ignores the part which reads "save it by either correcting false information, removing all subjective fields, or adding useful information". Of course, such corrections should be made to any part of Wikipedia, and are not infobox-specific.

The essay's bogus claims include:

If the infobox is longer than a third of the article's body, it is a disinfobox.
The length of an infobox very much depends on the user's settings (screen and window size, font and font-size, etc.)
If the infobox contains multiple entries within any identifying field, it is probably a disinfobox.
Multiple values are appropriate and valid in many "identifying" infobox parameters, such as |native_name=, |former_name= and |nickname=. Templates such as {{Plainlist}} exist to facilitate their use.
If the infobox contains subjective categories, it is a disinfobox.
Since infoboxes do not contain categories, the meaning of this statement is unclear. More widely, subjective statements do not belong in Wikipedia anyway; this is again not an infobox-specific issue.


Ron Richardson
Ronald E. Richardson

(1952-01-27)January 27, 1952
DiedApril 5, 1995(1995-04-05) (aged 43)
  • Actor
  • baritone vocalist
Years active1970s-1994
Laura Esterman
Born (1945-04-12) April 12, 1945 (age 78)
Occupation(s)Film, television and radio actress
Ponte Vecchio
View of the Ponte Vecchio from above
Coordinates43°46′4.76″N 11°15′11.49″E / 43.7679889°N 11.2531917°E / 43.7679889; 11.2531917
CrossesArno River
LocaleFlorence, Italy
DesignClosed-spandrel segmental stone arch bridge
Width32 metres (105 ft)
Longest span30 metres (98 ft)

All three of the example infoboxes given in the essay no longer reflect the actual state of the articles to which they belong. At the time of writing, they appear as shown here.[2] Their value is clear.


  1. ^ For example, it's unusual to see them in list articles, or on disambiguation pages.
  2. ^ Non-free image has been replaced; title-display of coordinates has been deactivated.