Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Archive 16

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Non-registered user closing RfC

An RfC on the Flag of Syria page was recently closed after a over month of discussion by an unregistered user who has been editing for six months. I think the grounds for closure might have been shaky. Can a more experienced admin take a look please? I checked out WP:NAC but am unsure of its status as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community, so want clarification on whether non-registered users can close. BobFromBrockley (talk) 12:03, 22 June 2018 (UTC)

According to WP:NACIP, IPs may not close a formal discussion, so I have undone the close. An univolved registered user can restore the IPs close if they agree with it, indicating that they are doing so with a signed note, and by doing so taking responsibility for the close. Beyond My Ken (talk) 02:39, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
I contest the unilateral reversal of the close done by above as breach of procedural WP:CLOSE guidelines on the matter. If the close is improper, then the proper place to contest it is here(oops, mistake) at AN, not by unilaterally removing it. 198.84.253.202 (talk) 02:41, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
It has now been bilaterally removed.[1]Mandruss  03:58, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Fair enough. Would an admin please check the close ([last amended], after discussion) and rule if it is improper? 198.84.253.202 (talk) 04:11, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
The AN discussion should be sufficient. This page is certainly not the place to request admin attention for any purpose. ―Mandruss  04:24, 23 June 2018 (UTC)
Well sorry, just so confusing - the discussion has been fragmented between one, two (here), three places. Maybe this is an unintentional case of WP:FORUMSHOP? I'm just going to copy my last comment over at AN, then. 198.84.253.202 (talk) 04:33, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Suggestion: tag for for ci-devant RFC

Recently I was running through some talk page archives, searching for an unclosed RfC. Because the bot removes the RfC tag after a set time frame, it makes it very hard to determine which section was a proper RfC or not. I think i would be helpful if when the bot removed the RFC number tag, it replaced it with a small template saying "This was a RFC" or something like it, to make identifying these sections quicker and easier. For closed RfCs where a human editor removed the tag, it is not necessary, obviously. cinco de L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 16:51, 18 June 2018 (UTC)

Nice idea, but unless you can get Legoktm (talk · contribs) to amend the bot, it won't happen. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:41, 18 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, maybe. User:Cunard, are you still looking at all the expired RFCs manually? If so, would you mind adding a little template, of the sort suggested here, to all of the ones that you aren't recommended for formal closure?
We could also put it in the directions for closing, as an optional nicety. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:49, 20 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes. Some RfCs I take no action on because they are invalid (example). For nearly all of the other RfCs (it is possible I might miss some while manually going through them), I close it, relist it, or list it at WP:ANRFC. I can add an expired RfC template to the RfCs I close if that helps.

Cunard (talk) 06:58, 20 June 2018 (UTC)

Is there already a template for this? Thanks, cinco de L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 01:38, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
I am not aware of a template for expired RfCs. Cunard (talk) 07:28, 21 June 2018 (UTC)
The two of you could boldly create one. If it's small-ish, I don't expect anyone to complain. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:44, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
Is this too large and too green? It's a repurposed infobox. cinco de L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 15:10, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
What's wrong with the default size, colours and other styling of a {{tmbox|type=notice|small=yes}}? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:09, 25 June 2018 (UTC)
Just that I couldn't find it yesterday. cinco de L3X1 ◊distænt write◊ 17:11, 25 June 2018 (UTC)

Flagging ill-composed RfCs

It is so frequent that I see RfCs not adhere to WP:RFCST that I wonder if it's a good idea to implement a system akin to {{Help me-nq}} or {{Edit fully-protected|answered=yes}}, i.e. allow users to flag a request as improperly composed and prevent it from being added to the lists by modifying {{rfc}}, showing a message along the lines of "A user has flagged this request for comment as not following the guidelines. An RfC statement must be brief and neutral, and followed by a signature." I think that'll smooth things. Nardog (talk) 23:32, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

"Must"? This page is not a list of absolute rules.
When people complain about RFCST "violations", they're usually (although not always) complaining that the question is not neutral – according to them, and interpreted in light of their own biases, of course. It is unusual for an allegedly non-neutral RFC question to result in practical harm. Either the editors see through it, complain, and the RFC gets withdrawn, or the editors see through it, and provide their true views despite the non-neutral starting point. It is rare that we have an RFC that actually manages to deceive editors with a significantly biased question. Even when it does happen, the solutions are not difficult; you just start another discussion. (Remember that RFC outcomes are not binding; WP:Consensus can change at any time, including immediately after an RFC ended.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:37, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Formatting creep, yet again

See this perfectly good-faith comment at User talk:Bladebuster700#RfC format update. Our ==Example== instructions aren't getting the point across – failing so badly that the most common format is being interpreted as "not recommended". I'm going to go Be Bold. Please ping me here if you want to talk about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:31, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

Convenience links: before, after
@WhatamIdoing: The unstructured format is far from the "most common" format in my experience. In fact, the structure is one of the benefits of RfC. Where the structure isn't necessarily needed because the issue is so simple (how many issues are simple at Wikipedia?), it certainly does very little to no harm. One size can sometimes fit all adequately enough that the added complication to guidance is a cost-benefit fail. I would have made that formatting change myself, no question. ―Mandruss  00:00, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
To clarify and expand:
I would prefer the example text to include the Survey and Threaded discussion headings. Assuming that, here in 2018, a large majority of editors can successfully perform a copy-and-paste operation, that will not make it any harder to create an RfC; the only difference will be the amount of the copied text. Then I'd change the first paragraph at Wikipedia:Requests for comment#Example to the effect that the example text is "suggested", "a common format", or something equally non-prescriptive. It's far easier to remove part of what you copied (or not copy that part in the first place) than to add the two headings "manually".
I particularly object to the current language that the structured format is appropriate only for "major disputes"; per WP:RFCBEFORE, attempts to reach consensus outside RfC have already failed, so the dispute is somewhat "major" by definition of "RfC". And the Survey section is very effective for showing editors' positions in a clear and concise way, regardless of the magnitude of the dispute (a somewhat rare Wikipedia success story, in my view).
I think this solution would also address your valid creep concerns, still reducing the guidance to one example. ―Mandruss  18:23, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
I like having the survey/discussion format available in the example section, since it's so common.
"Consider creating a subsection" (the old text) couldn't be any less prescriptive. On the other hand, the first example (section heading, rfc tag, question, signature) is pretty much mandatory, so it would just be confusing to qualify it by saying it is only "suggested" or a "a common format" in introducing it.
It doesn't look to me like the editor who added survey and discussion sections to the baseball players RfC thought not having them was "not recommended". He did view survey/discussion as one recommended format, since this page says to consider it, but he said he would understand if the RfC writer wanted to go back to the simple format (that format is recommended too). Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 20:56, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Perhaps you are right, but words like "noticed the format was not typical" and "edited the layout to match the recommendation" doesn't sound like "That's totally valid, but I think there's a better way". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:04, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Mandruss, is your experience mostly in RFCs for project pages, or in RFCs for articles? I just surveyed a random sample of RFCs in articles. I think I opened about 20% of current RFCs for the mainspace (skipping anything in my quick sample that I had previously opened the page for, but that still left dozens to look at). A bit less than half are currently using the ==Survey== formatting. I haven't checked, but I assume that RFCs on policy pages, and especially for controversial changes to them, skew the other direction.
The bigger issue is that asking people to separate their "survey" response – which is really just another word for a "vote" – from their "discussion" points is not a neutral thing. You need to choose your format according to what the kind of response that you need. If you need !votes that support or oppose, and especially if you expect a high turnout in such a situation, then you should seriously consider a section named ==Survey== or ==Straw poll== or something like that. But if you don't – and I believe that WP:Consensus suggests that for the mainspace, that need should be tolerably rare – then you shouldn't be encouraging people to limit their responses to voting-style responses. For example, there's an RFC at Talk:Bipolar disorder#New RfC on the mask image that asks a pretty simple yes/no question about an image. It could have been written to encourage Support and Oppose responses, but what's the advantage to that? There's a better and wider-ranging conversation going there without the pseudo-voting.
Also, I think it's better for people who are doing anything in the not-so-simple range to go to the /Formatting examples page and actually look at multiple options, together with an appreciation of their strengths and weaknesses, instead of choosing between two here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:19, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: My experience involving RfCs has been largely a mix of American social issues (eg Shooting of Michael Brown) and American politics (eg Donald Trump). I grant you that 95% of issues in those areas are "major disputes", even when they shouldn't be. But my previous points about that still apply.
I disagree with your comments about the Survey section being like voting: properly done, it's not-voting. Votes lacking some kind of cogent argument should be ignored when assessing consensus, although that doesn't happen as consistently as it should.
As I understand and interpret things, a straw poll is different as it doesn't require said arguments, and is used not to establish consensus but rather merely to "take a group's temperature" on an issue.
I think the "Formatting examples" page represents unjustified complication and instruction bloat, and relegating that to a subpage doesn't make it any less CREEPy. But I'm not inclined to put it up for MfD at this juncture. ―Mandruss  21:45, 9 August 2018 (UTC)
Whether votes-with-rationales should be considered more than votes-without-rationales depends upon the question. If your question is about what the participants want to name their WikiProject, or whether the community wants to black out the site SOPA-style, then you probably should have a straight-up vote on the question.
The problem with encouraging votes, including votes-with-rationales, is that RFCs (of typical sizes) usually work very well when people skip the "votes" part and just post the "rationales" part. If there's no section that says "Put your vote here!" then people will usually skip the bold-face voting part, and skip straight to "I think that...". Not encouraging someone to come out swinging with a bold-face Oppose means that it's easier for a conversation to develop, and for editors to remember that the goal is to develop something that everyone can consent to having in the article (the literal meaning of "consensus"), rather that polarizing the discussions with either/or decisions. IMO an RFC such as Talk:Stateless nation#rfc 17F6825 is not worse off in any way just because people didn't precede their comments with a bold-face vote. We need more discussions that involve less voting on a firm proposal and more working together to find solutions.
Part of the current polarization in RFC responses is doubtless my fault. The language that's been on this page about writing a simple RFC question that was amenable to yes/no answers – and therefore to bold-faced votes rather than discussion and finding ways to adapt other editors' ideas – is something I wrote some years back. (At the time, we were seeing more RFCs whose 'question' was "What do you think about this article?", which is less than optimally functional in other ways.) I think we need to back away from this kind of support-or-oppose thinking. Encouraging people to consider their format choice in terms of its pros and cons, rather than "Hey, there's the 'recommended' one that all the cool editors use!" is IMO one way that we can do that.
(I have basically no sympathy for the argument in favor of labeling votes and !votes to make it easy for an RFC closer to count the votes on typical-size RFCs. An RFC closer who needs help counting votes shouldn't be closing that RFC.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:44, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: more working together to find solutions. I wish that too. I've seen no movement in that direction in the 5 years I've been around, and not for lack of talk about it. So let's continue wishing all editors were like us, and maybe someday our wish will magically come true. But it's important to understand that we're talking about personality types, which change extremely slowly (ie decades) if at all. For the most part and with a very few exceptions, the collaborative, cooperative nature is not made at Wikipedia by reasoning with people, but rather in the home by the age of about 12.
Meanwhile we have to create article content, that requires consensus, and we've found that the only workable way to get there is via Survey not-voting. At least in the areas where I've worked. Given enough time, large groups naturally gravitate to what works, or perhaps what fails less badly than any alternative. It's Darwinian, and article talk pages are our experimental laboratories.
If you agree that the structured format works best for at least some situations, then I reiterate what I said above: It's far easier to remove part of what you copied (or not copy that part in the first place) than to add the two headings "manually".Mandruss  07:03, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
  1. People won't "remove part of what you copied" if they think that they're supposed to have those parts. Putting those parts on the main page says "You should use this!" Putting those parts on a separate page says "This is optional". IMO this page only needs to include the required parts: a section heading, the rfc template, a question, and a signature.
  2. There are long-term difficulties with the community's direction, and I don't have any grand solutions. For example, there's research that says the more you trust Wikipedia, then the more you will agree with it – and the less you will edit it (because disagreeing with it provides an incentive to click the Edit button). Net result: we get fewer editors, but more advocates. Another is that procedures are calcifying and bureaucracy is on an apparently limitless rise, with the result that we're optimizing for easy forms (e.g., fancy formatting and vote-counting) over significant substance (e.g., cogent rationales). I don't know if those problems are solvable. It's basically impossible to tell 30,000 people that they can't take the easy way out, day after day. What we can do is not push people towards any form of voting. Yes, the occasional (large) RFC is going to get a format that is good but perhaps not "best", and it sounds like those will disproportionately affect your favorite subject area. But a few are probably going to get better (and even more complex) formatting, and more (mostly smaller ones) are going to benefit from less needless structure, and especially from not having a "Please put your vote here" section.
As I said earlier, I went through a bunch of RFCs recently. I saw a lot of voting sections with responses, followed by discussion sections that were either empty or contained a comment from only one person. I did not see the opposite. I think that the logical conclusion is that, given a chance to vote (including votes-with-rationales), people will vote instead of discussing things. When we encourage that, we're failing at the primary mission of an RFC, which is to hold a normal talk-page discussion (just with more people involved than might happen without the RFC advertising mechanism). WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:06, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
The section heading is somewhat redundant if an RfC is started part-way through an existing discussion as a direct follow-on. Even the signature (four tildes) isn't required - provided that a five-tilde timestamp is present. This leaves: the {{rfc}} template; the statement or question; a timestamp. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:54, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
I'd thought about that, too, but I think that omitting the section heading from the directions might irritate the editors who argued in favor of not just its inclusion, but specifically encouraging the section heading to include "RFC" (so it's easier for them to find it in archived discussions later). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:14, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Editors are not doing that because we fail to encourage a better alternative. They are doing it because experience has shown them that threaded discussion is usually a waste of their time, almost always being just pointless bickering. Compromises are rarely reached, minds are almost never changed (I invite you to show otherwise). Precisely because of the "personality types" I referred to above. If you want to advocate a process that requires a certain personality/maturity level for it to work, you first have to exclude editors who don't have that personality/maturity level. Good luck with that. ―Mandruss  21:06, 12 August 2018 (UTC)
Here's a case in point: Endymion.12 (talk · contribs) opened an RfC which asks for "comments about this article, specifically regarding the NPOV policy" but followed it up by adding the two subheadings. Although the initial statement is (to my mind) valid, there is no question asked, so there cannot logically be a survey. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:50, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
I believed that it would be more productive to ask for general comments rather than have a vote for/against a particular version. Endymion.12 (talk) 10:59, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, but that's not the point. The point is that having added a survey section, you are now asking people to !vote on something. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 11:17, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
This is a great example. We're trying to figure out what effect having the examples we have on the page has on people formatting RfCs. Endymion.12, please take us through your thought process in including survey and discussion sections on an RfC when you wanted general comments. Did you get the idea from the WP:Requests for comment page or did you copy some other example? And if it came from the page, how much of it did you read? Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:25, 13 August 2018 (UTC)
@Giraffedata:@WhatamIdoing: I found the format here while searching for prior discussions before making this post. I used this format in this RfC, and copied it over when opening this RfC. Endymion.12 (talk) 13:55, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, that's very helpful. I think that copying what you've seen elsewhere is a pretty typical approach. Endymion.12 was mainly copying what had been used for some larger discussions at contentious articles (ISIL and the Skripal poisoning) – perfectly reasonable approach, and very typical for Wikipedia editors. After all, when you want something in an article, you can just copy the wikitext out of another one that is already doing what you want. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:20, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

How to cite wikipedia article within wikipedia article

Hello folks,

I searched a whole bunch of websites to get to know how you cite a wikipedia article within a wikipedia article. Could you help me? I am new to editing articles and don't know much about it.

Thank you very much in advance. — Preceding unsigned comment added by GreenLampion (talkcontribs) 07:05, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

@GreenLampion: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment. A better place for your question would be the help desk; but in short, you cannot use Wikipedia as a reference source, see WP:CIRCULAR. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 16:27, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

Statements that aren’t neutral and brief

There’s a common question about § Statements should be neutral and brief that it really seems like the section should address: What should one do if a statement is clearly not neutral and/or brief, or if it grossly mischaracterizes the situation? —67.14.236.193 (talk) 02:55, 19 September 2018 (UTC)

Answer it as best you can, and note the problem so a closer can work from there. What you do not do is rewrite the question on your own. You can also start a new RfC with a neutral position, and work from there. Collect (talk) 17:43, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
If you start a new RFC, what becomes of the old one? And by whose hand? —67.14.236.193 (talk) 23:29, 19 September 2018 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia:Writing requests for comment#Modifying or challenging questions.
It's generally not functional to say that User #1 isn't allowed to ask whatever question User #1 wants to ask. Usually, people just address the problem in their own replies (e.g., "This question feels really misleading, since it doesn't mention the relevant fact that the sky is blue and the Sun appears to rise in the East. What I really think is important is..."). Remember that RFCs aren't supposed to be votes. You can, and should, comment on whatever is important and relevant about the subject under discussion, including the underlying questions and assumptions. This is usually a highly functional approach, and it's what experienced editors expect.
If you feel a need to start a second RFC, then you can (nicely) ask the first user to withdraw the first RFC. This works out more often than some editors expect. You can technically just start a second RFC on the same page, although that often draws complaints (and then what happens if they conclude with opposite results?). As a general rule, I'd recommend not doing that unless other editors are also complaining about the first RFC, and, if you think it's necessary to do this, then I recommend talking about it (in a normal section on the talk page) and trying to come up with a good, clear, clean "question" before actually tagging it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Research presentation on our RFCs

The next m:Wikimedia Research Showcase will be live-streamed this coming Wednesday September 19, 2018 at 11:30 AM (PDT) 18:30 UTC at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY8vZ6wES9o The second presentation is about the RFC process at the English Wikipedia.

I've read a draft of their paper, and the authors argue for a POV that I disagree with (that having RFCs "linger" without a formal closing statement is a "major issue" – not coincidentally, they have also studied software for summarizing discussions). But I still think it will be interesting and informative, and I think that anyone interested in RFCs as a process would find it worthwhile. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:01, 13 September 2018 (UTC)

A few notes:
  • If the initial question has a hostile tone, the likelihood of the RFC getting boxed and summarized goes down.
    • I suspect that we could fairly make a broader statement: a "neutral question" (or at least one that doesn't have a hostile tone) is probably associated with a successful RFC, regardless of whether you define success as getting a box and a summary or you define success as finding out what the community thinks about the subject under discussion.
  • Getting an RFC boxed and summarized takes an average of 17 days after the last comment.
    • My thought: People requesting such action should think about whether getting that "formal" closure is worth waiting a couple of weeks.
  • Whether an RFC is going to be boxed and summarized can usually be predicted about a week after it's been opened.
  • It's hard to get people to summarize a discussion on niche subjects (e.g., one that requires prior knowledge to understand).
  • Back-and-forth bickering and lots of comments reduces the willingness of editors to write summaries.
  • Editors don't want to bother boxing and summarizing RFCs when they think that's not providing value, e.g., if they think nobody cares about the result.
There's one spot that I found irritating. At 34 minutes, the researcher shows a screenshot from a comment at Talk:Police state as proof that editors are unhappy when an RFC expires without getting boxed and summarized. However, looking over the whole page, it seems to me that the editor story is more like this:
  • The editor found a source that lists countries with "authoritarian regimes", and decided that was the same as a "police state", so he added the list to Police state.
  • The editor's contribution was repeatedly removed on the grounds that authoritarian regime and police state aren't exactly the same thing.
  • The editor started an RFC to see if other editors supported the addition of this list to Police state.
  • When the RFC expired, the editor posted a comment about it being a "sad Wikipedia fail".
IMO what happened is that the editor accurately recognized that there was no consensus for his desired change, and he was unhappy that he had "lost" the RFC. I don't think that boxing it up or adding a "Summary: Nice try, but you lost" note to the top would have made him happy about this. His problem wasn't that he didn't get a box and a summary within 24 hours; his problem was that he didn't get to add his content to the article. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:35, 20 September 2018 (UTC)

Outdated RfC tag

Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive_161 has only outdated conversations but the page is still a part of Category:Wikipedia requests for comment. Anatoliatheo (talk) 09:44, 21 September 2018 (UTC)

@Anatoliatheo: See Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Archive 161#RfC - Animal breeds in lower case. The presence of {{bots|deny=Legobot}} at the start of the section means that Legobot (talk · contribs) never removed the {{rfc}} template, it should have been done manually. The RfC itself seems to have attracted discussion for about two weeks, which is half of the normal thirty-day period for an RfC. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 11:43, 21 September 2018 (UTC)
OK. Can you remove it so that page would be de-categorized? Anatoliatheo (talk) 15:28, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Also check Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion article titles. Anatoliatheo (talk) 15:31, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
OK, it was more complicated than I thought; it seems that when SMcCandlish (talk · contribs) moved the thread (cut, paste) from Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capital letters (not from Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Capitalization as claimed), they decided to use {{subst:rfc|style|sci}} instead of {{rfc|style|sci}} which will have confused the heck out of Legobot.
At Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Abortion article titles, the category was improperly added manually by Wiki-Taka (talk · contribs) (indef blocked a few days later). I've removed it. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:47, 22 September 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Anatoliatheo (talk) 15:18, 23 September 2018 (UTC)

Princess Noura Bint Faisal Al Saud

This is regarding the wikipedia page on princess noura bint faisal Al saud. On 25 of September I edited the page and updated the information and now I find it has been reverted to the original text. The princess wishes to delete the page altogether. Princess Noura is no longer linked to the Arab Fashion Council and your Editor Pharaoh of Wizzards had no right to remove the edits especially as they are backed by an updated article from a third party. Labicie (talk) 19:40, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

@Labicie: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment. Discussions concerning the content of an article belong at the talk page for the article concerned. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:02, 26 September 2018 (UTC)

Odd move?

Can I, and if so how can I, get more people, preferably an admin or two, to look at the unorthodox move (as I see it) recently closed and discussed at Talk:Katarina Eriksdotter? Seems to me that it may be important in principle to get some more input there to preclude additional such moves. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 10:55, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

Since you're concerned about the general policy for whether royal Swedish women named Katarina should be called Catherine in English Wikipedia, or maybe whether royal women named any other variant of Catherine should be, I suggest a discussion on Wikipedia talk:Article titles or Wikipedia talk:Naming conventions (use English). And if that doesn't garner enough opinion, you could do an RfC on one of those pages. I note that this is a case where an individual topic (person) is virtually unknown in English literature, but similar topics (persons) with the same name are well known, and the various guidelines are vague for that case. So that would be where clarification should be requested and Talk:Katarina Eriksdotter should be only an example of the controversy. 15:49, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you! My concern was also about the controversial move being done without discussion and by a non-admin "over redirect" (what does that mean?), and the fact that that was ignored by the closer, as well as the fact that the name Catherine was left everywhere else for the woman, including at the head of that article, bolded. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 11:09, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
@SergeWoodzing: When a page is moved, the old page is given a new name, and a new page is created at the old name containing two lines, rather like this:
#REDIRECT [[Catherine Eriksdotter]]
{{R from move}}
This page, known as a "redirect", is to ensure that inward links to the page that use the old name will continue to function, see WP:R. If the page (now at its new name) is moved back to the previous name, that redirect page is in the way and must be deleted; this deletion is transparent, but it shows in the page history as "over redirect". Some examples:
The boldface is mine. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:58, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you! So one does not have to be an administrator to move pages "over redirect"? What does one do then? Change the redirect page to the article by transferring the entire article content there, and then change the article page to a redirect (which I know what it is)? Is that allowed? What I don't get is how a non-admin can do that, deletions included. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 06:44, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
@SergeWoodzing: Deleting the redirect immediately prior to moving a page over the (former) redirect is the only deletion action that non-admins can perform. You have done it yourself, several times (this was the most recent), but probably didn't realise that you were deleting the redirect at the time. You do this by moving the page in the normal way, using the "Move" option in the "More" tab. If you are unable to do this, follow the directions at WP:RM. Never transfer the entire article content there, and then change the article page to a redirect - that is a WP:CUTPASTE move, which takes a fair amount of unravelling to fix. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:14, 9 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you! I knew we aren't supposed to copy-paste like that, that's why I was so confused. As you correctly guessed, I had no idea we did "over redirect" moves without realizing ut. Thx again. --SergeWoodzing (talk) 09:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
I'm not sure why you think the move being done by a non-admin is an issue. I do remember reading an instruction saying to discuss a controversial move before doing it (which is somewhat exceptional on Wikipedia), so I get that one. Both of these would be editor conduct issues, and since we're on the talk page of Request For Comment, I'll just say you can't use RfC for editor conduct issues. Likewise, discussion closing does not get into editor conduct, and that explains why the closer ignored these. The closer's job was to determine whether there was consensus, in the discussion being closed, that the page should be moved.
There are fora for dealing with editor conduct, but they're rarely used for something this minor; instead, people focus on what the article title should be (such as in the fora I suggested) and not on whether some change of the title was done properly. If an editor persists in editing against a demonstrated consensus, that's when conduct controls get involved. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:19, 10 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you! I appreciate your information about fora. Next, I'm going to look and see if the mess created in that article and severel othes, by that move, has been cleaned up by the mover. If not, I guess I'll just go ahead and do it myself later today. I only came here with this due to the confusion (of mine) described above. Sorry! --SergeWoodzing (talk) 09:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Where does the RfC go?

I put the RfC on a Redirect, and on the redirected page, and on the other editor's page. I have never done a RfC before, not in ten years, so did I do it right?--Dthomsen8 (talk) 20:45, 20 October 2018 (UTC)

@Dthomsen8: Which redirect, which redirected page, which other editor's page? We cannot help unless you provide this information. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:58, 21 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh, I just found them, linked from Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Biographies, at Talk:Charles Whitman#Request for Comment, Talk:Claire Wilson#Request for Comment and Talk:University of Texas tower shooting#Request for Comment. Please do not hold RfCs on user talk pages, also respect WP:MULTI. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:17, 21 October 2018 (UTC)

Actor Ken Swofford passed away.

Could someone please remove the 'Living Persons' biography warning from his article? Thank you, Shir-El too 18:49, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

Never mind: figured it out. Cheers! Shir-El too 19:09, 3 November 2018 (UTC)
@Shir-El too: For future reference, this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment; your question is more of a help desk matter. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:25, 3 November 2018 (UTC)

@Redrose64: Thank you! Last time I looked for HD couldn't find it. (Nice rose, too.) All the Best, Shir-El too 17:26, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Do I need an RfC?

I have been editing the article Incapacity Benefit. I removed some content which I did not feel was relevent and another editor has reverted my edits. I only started editing Wikipedia a month ago, so I'm not really sure how RfC works. I have had a bit of a difficult time dealing with this editor on other articles, so I think it would be best if another person is involved.CircleGirl (talk) 19:12, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

I have read on how to do an RfC and realised it is the right solution.CircleGirl (talk) 19:15, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

@CircleGirl: No, at least this early in the dispute, an RfC would not be needed or appropriate. See Wikipedia:Dispute resolution. ―Mandruss  19:20, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
@CircleGirl: Also see Wikipedia:Teahouse, an excellent place for newer editors to get answers to pretty much anything related to editing. ―Mandruss  19:32, 27 December 2018 (UTC)
Yeah, don't bother with RfC unless the alternatives suggested at WP:RFCBEFORE have been exhausted. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:40, 27 December 2018 (UTC)

MIT press release: article about Wikipedia's RFC resolution

Courtesy of User:Timtempleton on the Help Desk : http://news.mit.edu/2018/wikipedia-disputes-unresolved-study-1106 . The underlying article is here (open access). The predictive stuff is not very impressive to me (essentially, I think the honest conclusion would have been that whether an RfC eventually gets closed is essentially unpredictable, rather than looking at very tiny correlations), but it contains a lot of interesting stats. TigraanClick here to contact me 10:16, 12 November 2018 (UTC)

The study is predicated on the (unexamined) belief that boxing up RFCs is a Good Thing™. I am not convinced by this premise: some seemingly ignored RFCs have solved thorny problems, and some boxed-up ones had no lasting positive effects at all. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:46, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Did I do anything wrong on my RfC?

Requested an RfC here Template_talk:Generations_Sidebar. Has been over a week and haven't heard anything. Is there just not many people doing RfCs? Was something incorrect about the way I requested it? - Scarpy (talk) 18:10, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

@Scarpy: Do you mean Template talk:Generations Sidebar#RfC: Should cusper generations (e.g. Generation Jones and Xennials) be excluded from the Generations sidebar? By clicking the two bulleted links inside the RfC box, you can see that it's been advertised. Moreover, I see comments from two people besides yourself, so not sure what you mean by "haven't heard anything". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:27, 24 January 2019 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Right, they were the two accounts originally involved in the discussion (other than me)... so it's failed in the sense that we didn't get an outside perspective. - Scarpy (talk) 22:26, 24 January 2019 (UTC)

Can an RfC straighten this out?

So after creating Department of Transport (Victoria, 2019–), I moved the page at Department of Transport (Victoria) to Department of Transport (Victoria, 2008–13), and recreated Department of Transport (Victoria) as a dab page. Shortly afterwards, I discovered Department of Transport (Victoria, Australia), a redirect to Department of Transport (Victoria), was also used in a few articles; since it was now an ambiguous redirect, I went through and changed each link to point in the correct direction. Once that was done, I listed it at RFD for what I thought would be a fairly uncontroversial deletion.

The discussion at RFD covered whether Department of Transport (Victoria) ought to be a dab page or an SIA; whether Department of Transport ought to be a dab page itself or a redirect to Department of transportation; whether a user searching for Department of Transport (Victoria) should be directed to a dab page or a history of transport governance in Victoria. To complicate matters further, both Ministry of Transport and Department of transportation are acting as government agency concept dabs for the same concept, and a proposal to merge Ministry of Transport into Department of transportation fell over last year because of a lack of consensus on whether the merge should go in another direction.

To clarify, I think the issues that need to be sorted out somehow are as follows:

  • Should Department of transportation and Ministry of Transport be merged, and if so, in which direction?
    • Should the merged page contain a list of such ministries/departments?
  • Should Department of Transport be a redirect to the merged page or a disambiguation page?
  • Should "Department of Transport" titles with ambiguous parenthetical disambiguation (for example, Department of Transport (Victoria)): a) be deleted; b) be redirected to whichever page has a full listing of transport departments, preferably with a section anchor; or c) form disambiguations/SIAs for the jurisdiction in question.

If you're still reading, thank you: I would just like to know if an RFC is the best way to sort this out, and if anyone is able to help with the process. Triptothecottage (talk) 04:45, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

An RfC is underway at Talk:Ministry of Transport#RfC: Transport governance article titles. Please feel free to comment. Triptothecottage (talk) 01:40, 30 January 2019 (UTC)

Possible RfC or Admin Notice

Not sure if I'm following the proper procedure here, so this item can be moved elsewhere as necessary. I have started a discussion on a complex matter, and while there is no drama among the contributors, the matter has become confusing enough to possibly warrant a new WP policy or two. I would like an Admin (preferably one knowledgeable on the music industry) to take a look at this discussion: Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Albums#"Single Album". Thanks. ---DOOMSDAYER520 (Talk|Contribs) 18:08, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

@Doomsdayer520: I'm responding only to your comment here. I haven't looked closely at the article discussion, so I'm not entirely sure where you're coming from.
When you have a legitimate need for admin attention, you can either post at WP:AN or hit up a specific admin on their user talk page. This doesn't appear to be such a situation in my opinion. Admins don't rule on content issues, and admins don't set policy. If you want to propose a policy change, the venue is WP:VPP. In any case, this page is for discussion of the RfC process and/or improvement to the associated project page, WP:RFC. ―Mandruss  18:30, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
I think this was a request for formal closure, which should have been posted at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure. WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:13, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Is RFC suitible?

Hi all, I think this one's probably quite an easy answer. I recently posted a topic at WT:SPORTS#Bowls, regarding the naming convention for bowls biographies. Usually, I would go to the WikiProject, and talk with the people, and see what we come up with; however there isn't really a suitible WikiProject in this case, as WP:BOWLING and WP:CUE both kind of have a claim to it, but neither is particularly active (I'm from Cue, but I'd be talking to myself). Should I raise this at WP:WPBIO, or contemplate an RfC?

For reference, I'd like to change biographies around bowlers to use the (bowler) or (bowls player) in place of just (bowls), such as at Alex Marshall (bowls). Thank you for your time. Lee Vilenski (talkcontribs) 16:19, 29 January 2019 (UTC)

Hi Lee,
Wikipedia:Naming conventions (sportspeople) already recommends (bowler) as a disambiguator. This is really just a question of mass page moves. You could follow WP:RM, perhaps using the talk page for the naming convention as the location of the discussion, for all the pages that need moving. A quick search for intitle:bowls suggests that there are almost 250 such pages (vs about 35 with "(bowler)" and almost 200 with "(curler)"; all of these numbers include redirects). WhatamIdoing (talk) 07:28, 13 February 2019 (UTC)

Talk pages consultation 2019

The Wikimedia Foundation has invited the various Wikimedia communities, including the English Wikipedia, to participate in a consultation on improving communication methods within the Wikimedia projects. As such, a request for comment has been created at Wikipedia:Talk pages consultation 2019. All users are invited to express their views and to add new topics for discussion. (To keep discussion in one place, please don't reply to this comment.) Jc86035 (talk) 15:01, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Informal RfC to gauge interest and gather local feedback

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
This request is ☒N WITHDRAWN. If ever an idea was to be labeled a non-starter, this one has apparently earned high billing wherever such a list might display.--John Cline (talk) 08:37, 26 February 2019 (UTC)

I'd like to ask editors interested in the RfC process for their feedback regarding whether it would be a good idea or not for us to develop a proposal seeking to begin requiring RfCs categorized as a Project-wide topic to have a co-sponsor?--John Cline (talk) 23:20, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Impetus giving rise

I have been helping out a bit at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Requests for closure and find that way too many RfCs backlogging that page would better serve Wikipedia if they hadn't been published at all! Some are no more than an undeveloped "bad idea" while others are so badly malformed when published that any result that may succeed otherwise is practically invalid before it ever emerged. Non-neutral questions that engender heat with no light, and local discussions that seek the farthest imaginable reach and the widest of site wide change. And then they come forth, requesting closure; as if enough editor time hadn't been wasted already. I believe, if properly done, co-sponsorship can alleviate a great deal of this waste which would be a very good outcome indeed, and the RfC's that do get published will have a much better chance of amounting to something worthy of the time vested in seeing it through. Let the learning curve happen at lower level requests, but expect the high end to come correct or stay home. What do others think about this? Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 23:20, 16 February 2019 (UTC)

Comments, feedback, and things I forgot

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Whether or not an RfC for NATO is needed

About Talk:NATO#Criticism section:

I am thinking:

  • I certainly do not wish to waste community resources with an unnecessary RfC.
  • I do not feel strongly about it. I am not trying to battle.
  • They have spoken, and are against a criticism section.
  • They make good points, especially about WP:CRITICISM.
  • Watchers/editors of the page presumably do not want a criticism section because, if they did, the article would have one.
  • Maybe the broader community would have a completely different view.

So, would an RfC be a good idea? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:41, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

Actually, I take that back about WP:CRITICISM. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 00:46, 7 April 2019 (UTC)

The question is whether the NATO article should have a Criticism section, reporting a laundry list of criticisms that have been made of NATO.
I don't believe an RfC would be a waste of resources. This is a simple enough question, a fairly binary question not requiring intricate knowledge of the article topic, that broad input would be good. I don't care much what "they" want -- watchers and past editors of articles are good for their knowledge of the article topic and the history of the article, but they do not own the article and Wikipedia values new opinions.
On the other hand, you sound ambivalent, which means there's practically consensus already (among all those interested, even if not the whole Wikipedia community). There's too big a backlog of RfCs that need attention to be creating new ones for something no known person cares about. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:40, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Hi Bryan Henderson (giraffedata). Thanks for the feedback. Actually, I am not really ambivalent. I think the article needs the section. After all, there has been strong criticism by many prominent people for decades, and lately too. I meant by "I do not feel strongly about it" that I am not going in there with guns a blazin' ready for a huge push. Anyhow, search "critic" and "dissol" and such and see how there is nothing much in the article about that. Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:46, 7 April 2019 (UTC)I
I'll say that I think it would take an RfC decision to override the previous local discussions, and to decide that this is one of the "sometimes appropriate" exceptions as described at WP:CSECTION. I don't feel the article should have a criticism section myself, I've said before that I don't feel there is a way to keep it NPOV, on-topic, nor limited to "notable critics," and feel we generally do a good job of integrating criticism into specific sections. The article is a Good Article, and I feel this section would make it harder to keep that level of quality. As to whether we need an RfC right now, it would probably just duplicate the on-going talk page discussion, but more discussion is always welcome!-- Patrick, oѺ 14:15, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
Don't all RfCs duplicate an existing non-RfC talk page discussion? More important than more discussion is more editors. Articles often have a small cadre of interested editors who are invested in and prejudiced by the status quo and an RfC shows a different consensus from uninvolved editors. I don't know if that's the case here, but it's easy to imagine someone being biased for or against a criticism section in the NATO article by one's own opinion of NATO, and the same might lead one to be a NATO article watcher. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:20, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
In addition to other issues around WP:CSECTION, imo, "criticism" sections seem lazy, misplaced, or worse, implying how bad the article is -- like we can't be bothered to discuss criticism in context, or we should have a section titled, "Praise", or praise is the rest of the article. Alanscottwalker (talk) 16:49, 7 April 2019 (UTC)
We really should avoid discussing the subject of the hypothetical RfC here - that's what the article's talk page is for. Here, we should be talking about whether this is the sort of question that's appropriate for an RfC. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:20, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, Bryan Henderson (giraffedata). I didn't know. I read "...If you are not sure if an RfC is necessary...ask on the talk page of this project...". I'll leave it to others from here on in. Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 02:30, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
That's fair, and I'll try to keep discussion to the discussion. If you didn't want to do an RfC, you could also put a request at WP:3 for an outside opinion.-- Patrick, oѺ 22:19, 8 April 2019 (UTC)
Actually, that one's for cases where just two people are at impasse, and in this case, several people have already weighed in on the article talk page. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:28, 9 April 2019 (UTC)

Wikipedia:RFCBRIEF

Moxy opened an RfC using the following text: "We seem to have a little WP:GALLERY problem causing some WP:UNDUE bringing attention to one section or another and full of 'unsourced stamtments with some images not even metioned in the pros text. Perhaps best to talk about what images to keep so we can follow our Mos on images and policy of verifiability. Though it best to bring up here as there seems to be a lots of editwaring in this article as of late." I think the present wording is not in line with Wikipedia:RFCBRIEF, because it is not neutral. Moreover, the core of the debate is whether galleries could be placed in the article and the present wording of the request hides this basic debate. Consequently, I think the request should be reworded. Thank you for your comments. Borsoka (talk) 03:40, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

A) the first step should be to take this to the user's talk page and voice your concern there. Without asking User:Moxy to change the wording, you have bypassed the single most important rule when dealing with other users: WP:AGF. B) without a link to the actual discussion under question, it takes a significant amount of effort for someone to even verify what you are saying. And C) your comments in the discussion should be persuasive enough that a closer would conclude that the RfC is not formed to generate any legitimate consensus. I would suggest pursuing A and C, and in the event that Moxy doesn't withdraw the RfC, then B might be an option. VanIsaacWScont 03:58, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Sorry, for not linking the RfC question and only copied it. Nevertheless, editors assuming good faith can easily assume that I falsified the text. (A) and (B} I raised my concerns and he did not accept it ([2], [3]). I think I stated it clearly that the RfC could hardly establish a consensus, because of the biased wording. Nevertheless, I understand that editors assuming good faith can easily assume that I bypassed the single most important rule when dealing with other editors. (2) The whole discussion can be read here. Borsoka (talk) 04:16, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Have amended the request while keeping the original post in comments..--Moxy 🍁 04:58, 10 April 2019 (UTC)
Chipmunkdavis intervened and solved the problem. Thank him/her for the intervention. Borsoka (talk) 05:29, 10 April 2019 (UTC)

Talk pages consultation 2019 – phase 2

The Wikimedia Foundation has invited the various Wikimedia communities, including the English Wikipedia, to participate in a consultation on improving communication methods within the Wikimedia projects.

Phase 2 of the consultation has now begun; as such, a request for comment has been created at Wikipedia:Talk pages consultation 2019/Phase 2. All users are invited to express their views. Individual WikiProjects, user groups and other communities may also consider creating their own requests for comment; instructions are at mw:Talk pages consultation 2019/Participant group sign-up. (To keep discussion in one place, please don't reply to this comment.) Jc86035 (talk) 14:48, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Just a crazy idea but please take it positively

Have you ever thought of (as Wikipedia in English grows and grows) of printing a bulletin, whether monthly or per year?, at least locally in the U.S. where Wikipedia is based?. For example: the British Titanic Society provides bulletins on Titanic's stories. Well, hope you take it positively. Bye :) --LLcentury (talk) 17:40, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

@LLcentury: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment. But apart from that, see WP:SIGNPOST; general information is at WP:POST/ABOUT; and for general or technical issues, praise, queries, or complaints related to The Signpost as a whole, see WT:POST. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:24, 18 May 2019 (UTC)
@Redrose64: I am truly sorry for posting on the wrong section, my English and little info about Wiki made me commit the mistake. Sorry. --LLcentury (talk) 18:36, 18 May 2019 (UTC)

Specifying that RfCs should not be listed on AfDs

I recently applied an RfC to an AfD discussion, but had the edit reverted. I asked in the IRC help channel #wikipedia-en-help, and confirmed that my adding an RfC to the AfD is not an appropriate use of the RfC process. If this is indeed policy, should it be made explicit on WP:RFC? Qono (talk) 16:37, 19 March 2019 (UTC)

@Qono: The WP:AFD process is, by its very nature, a request for comment albeit one with a narrow scope. We have between 50 and 100 new AfDs every day; imagine if each of them included a {{rfc}} as well - the RfC lists (such as Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Media, the arts, and architecture) would be swamped to the point where we would not see the "real" RfCs (which rarely exceed ten new ones in a day) among all of the AfDs on the same lists. Take it another way: if just one AfD includes a {{rfc}}, it would gain disproportionately more exposure than the other AfDs - why should one AfD be prioritised over all the others? They also have a different initial duration: 7 days for AfD, 30 days for RfC, so the presence of {{rfc}} could delay the closure of the AfD by 23 days. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 00:04, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thanks for the clarification here. I understand the logic behind not doubling up AfCs with RfCs, but what I'm actually asking now is if this thinking should be outlined in the documentation at WP:RFC. Do you have any thoughts on that proposal? Qono (talk) 00:37, 20 March 2019 (UTC)
I actually thought it was already there, but looking now, I don't see it, except for a weak statement under "Placing an RfC in a page other than a talk page". It's not just the question of putting an rfc tag on an AfD page, but the fact that if you want to gather consensus on deleting an article, AfD is where you go instead of doing an RfC. There are a bunch of specialized pages like AfD that solicit comments sufficiently on their own and are preferred to the RfC process. We should either tighten up the "Placing an RfC in a page other than a talk page" section or expand the alternatives-to-RfC text (which occurs in two places) or both. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:09, 20 March 2019 (UTC)

How about a subsection to the existing Before starting the process section? Something like this:

What not to use the RfC process for

Any others? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 00:21, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

I like it.
The section "About the conduct of another user" should be merged in here too. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:52, 22 March 2019 (UTC)
Redrose64, I think this would be an improvement. However, could you please spell out those shortcuts? They're convenient for people like me, but the audience for this section is people who don't know what those all-caps initials mean. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:32, 26 March 2019 (UTC)
Another one:
Not sure about {{adminhelp}}. But I have certainly seen several cases where {{rfc}} has been used on what is essentially a help request. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:04, 15 April 2019 (UTC)
I've now added this in, after seeing an ongoing RM being tagged for rfc. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:31, 5 June 2019 (UTC)

Nominating a set of templates and template redirects for deletion

I'm currently planning to nominate a set of related templates for deletion. However, I have an issue: some of the templates in this set are redirects, thus ineligible for deletion though templates for discussion.

I guess this leaves me with two options:

  1. Run a TfD batch nomination and RfD batch nomination in parallel with crosslinks.
  2. Run a single RfC that addresses both.

My question is: can deletion be the direct outcome of an RfC discussion? Reading Wikipedia:Deletion process § Deletion discussions, I assume an RfC could not directly result in deletion; thus option 1 would be more direct, if also being more spread out. eπi (talk | contribs) 19:00, 20 May 2019 (UTC)

Hello, –1.
This reply may be too late to be useful to you, but the normal thing to do is to take the template (without redirects) to TFD, and if the template is deleted, then the redirects will be deleted in due course as {{db-redirect}}.
WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:40, 17 June 2019 (UTC)

Edit warring over {{rfc}} in help_talk:Displaying_a_formula

[4] [5]

Suggestions (short of WP:Edit warring noticeboard)? Incnis Mrsi (talk) 13:52, 14 August 2019 (UTC)

My suggestion is to act less like an ass. --JBL (talk) 18:09, 15 August 2019 (UTC)
Maybe give up, at least for a few months? You posted a rant about software not behaving exactly like you guessed it would, and just a couple of hours later, you tried to force a link to your rant and a passionate condemnation of the template into a Help page. If you'd like to make progress on this, then maybe go talk to Wikipedia:Help Project about whether phases like "certain Wikipedians vehemently oppose its use" are appropriate for help pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 19 August 2019 (UTC)

One editor withdraws, another re-opens?

Could we please have content that describes how a withdrawn RfC may be re-opened? I'd like something that explicitly states whether an RfC which has been withdrawn by one editor may be re-opened by another editor, as this has recently come up twice at Talk:Electric smoking system. For completeness, we should probably mention whether it can be re-opened by the withdrawing editor, too. HLHJ (talk) 19:22, 16 June 2019 (UTC)

This is uncommon but not prohibited.
On a related point, a single editor currently has seven (7!) separate RFCs open on that page, plus one more on a related page. (See Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Economy, trade, and companies to find them all.) We should probably talk about whether we need a maximum limit of simultaneous RFCs per page or per editor. RFCs don't get good responses when you fill all the pages with them. However, since this is also (AFAIK) unprecedented behavior, it might make more sense to request a WP:TBAN for the individual, rather than change the guideline for everyone. What do you all think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:44, 17 June 2019 (UTC)
See also User talk:Redrose64#Disputes for over a year. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:15, 2 July 2019 (UTC)
He "only" has three open now. I hope that this doesn't happen again. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:00, 19 July 2019 (UTC)
I added a statement that it's OK to restart an RfC that has ended, including by withdrawal. We already had a paragraph, obscured in the "duration" section, telling how to restart an RfC. I expanded it into a section:
Anyone who wants to have more comments on the topic can restart an RfC that has ended, as long as the discussion has not been closed. For example, the original poster of an RfC might withdraw it, but someone else may have become interested in the topic in the meantime and restart it.
To restart an RfC, reinsert the {{rfc}} template. If it was automatically removed by Legobot, then be sure to insert a current timestamp after the RfC statement, and before its original timestamp, or it will just get re-removed by the bot.
You should mention at the end of the RfC statement that the RfC ended and restarted, and add your signature if appropriate.
Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:55, 5 July 2019 (UTC)
I'd like to thank everyone who responded to my request for guidance. HLHJ (talk) 23:41, 3 August 2019 (UTC)

See "Anyone who wants to have more comments on the topic can restart an RfC that has ended, as long as the discussion has not been closed." According to this statement RfCs can continue indefinitely as long as it has not been closed. A RfC was restarted for no good reason and the original RfC was not withdrawn. QuackGuru (talk) 20:07, 4 August 2019 (UTC)

Bryan, I'm not sure that new sentence is going to produce the results that you want. There are times when "anyone who wants" should be firmly discouraged from restarting an RfC.
I don't know exactly what scenarios you're thinking of where someone should be firmly discouraged, but I really doubt that a few words here can do that discouragement. But more important, aren't all those scenarios cases where the discussion should be closed? Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 17:40, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I'm also a little concerned about this recent change. RFCs end when the tags are removed, which often predates the (optional) closing statement by weeks – assuming that any such statement is ever produced. It's the removal of the rfc tag that ends the RFC (i.e., that stops the actual solicitation for responses). Closing the discussion has no effect on whether the request continues to be advertised. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:36, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
I can't see what the change has to do with your concern. The change just puts the paragraph in active voice and splits a long sentence to make it easier to read. It also clarifies that removing the tag isn't one way to end an RfC - it's the only way (as explained previously on the page), and this list is all the things that cause the tag to be removed. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 17:40, 19 August 2019 (UTC)
Changes
Original New
Please remove {{rfc}} template when the dispute has been resolved Please end the RfC when the dispute has been resolved
# The {{rfc}} tag can be removed and a formal closing summary of the discussion can be posted by any uninvolved editor. # Any uninvolved editor can post a formal closing summary of the discussion. The editor removes the {{rfc}} tag at the same time.

On the first line, the new version doesn't tell people how to do this, and some will think that this means "add a big box and a closing statement" instead of "removing the tag".

On the second line, this is in a section about the "several ways in which RfCs end" (which we might need to rephrase, because, as you said above, "removing the tag isn't one way to end an RfC - it's the only way"). By putting the formal closing statement first, it seems to me that it's the summary statement, rather than the removal of the rfc template, that is "the way" that the RFC is ended. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:22, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

P.S.: I'm not saying these are serious problems. If nobody else thinks these are worth bothering with, then I'm content to leave it alone. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:30, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

Malformed RfC

I believe I set up at RfC wrongly last month: see Talk:Next_United_Kingdom_general_election#RfC_about_the_infobox. (I can't remember what I did, but it was clearly wrong!) We've had a lengthy conversation, but others have possibly missed this. Is there a way to retroactively make this a proper RfC, allowing some more time for discussion? Thanks. Bondegezou (talk) 20:33, 25 August 2019 (UTC)

Why do you think that it was set up wrongly? It was noticed by Legobot, which publicised it normally, keeping it up for thirty days. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:51, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
I replied to one of Bondegezou's comments where he hinted that the RfC could be malformed because it wasn't getting closed or re-extended for further input, and I pointed out to him that it could seem to be the case since there was no RfC tag in the discussion itself and it wasn't at WP:RFC/A (if such was the case, then many people could have missed it; now I see that it was Legobot automatically removing it from the list with no other consequence). Nonetheless, something should surely be done about it, as the discussion has come to a standstill. Impru20talk 21:27, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
@Impru20: Here's the sequence:
  1. Bondegezou created a new section containing a {{rfc|pol}} tag
  2. Legobot noticed that tag and
    1. added a |rfcid=0341729 parameter
    2. added it to WP:RFC/POL (which is transcluded to WP:RFC/A)
  3. Thirty days after the section was created, Legobot
    1. removed the {{rfc|pol|rfcid=0341729}} tag
    2. removed the entry from WP:RFC/POL (and hence from WP:RFC/A)
In between event 2.2 and event 3, Legobot also posted notices on the user talk pages of various WP:FRS subscribers: BrendonTheWizard; Compassionate727; QueerEcofeminist; Activist; SshibumXZ; Stikkyy; Buster7; Chess; Rzvas; Meatsgains; Kautilya3; StudiesWorld; and Vanamonde93.
This is all pretty normal; I fail to see what the problem is here. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:56, 25 August 2019 (UTC)
For the RfC to get closed or extended, someone has to act. It isn't automatic. To request that someone close it (technically, close the discussion), someone can follow the procedure at Wikipedia:Closing discussions. To extend the RfC, someone can insert a timestamp as described at WP:Rfc#Duration. Now that it has ended, someone can restart it per WP:Rfc#Restarting an RfC. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:26, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Thank you, Redrose64, for the explanation. That was very clear and makes sense of what happened. (I am also relieved that I did things right to begin with!) Bondegezou (talk) 07:02, 26 August 2019 (UTC)
Hello Redrose64. On a similar matter, I added MST to an existing RfC here, and Legobot modified the format as an extension. But no history shows the discussion is added to the active notifications for MST RfCs, and therefore no science editors appear to be participating. What happened? Thanks. --Zefr (talk) 19:45, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Do you mean this edit? That was incorrect, see WP:RFCST item 2, third bullet: use only one {{rfc}} per RfC. Legobot has a number of quirks, and one of them is that when correcting such duplication, it doesn't take into account another of its quirks - the |rfcid= parameter must be last. This edit should fix it, have another look at WP:RFC/SCI after 21:01 (UTC). --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:08, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
Like this. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:09, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
For PHP coders: the source is here and I'm pretty sure the culprit is line 229:
		$categorymeta = preg_replace("/\s*\}*/", "", $categorymeta);
		$categorymeta = preg_replace("/=*/", "", $categorymeta);
		$categorymeta = preg_replace("/\|time([^|]|[^}])*/", "", $categorymeta);
		$categorymeta = preg_replace("/\|rfcid([^|]|[^}])*/", "", $categorymeta);
		$categories = explode("|", $categorymeta);
which I think looks for "|rfcid" and strips from there to the end of the string. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:26, 5 September 2019 (UTC)
"rfcid parameter must be last" was the correction and lesson. One additional note: after initially entering my incorrect format to add MST to the RfC, the notice on the page displayed incorrectly that the MST community would be notified - it wasn't. The preview display led me to believe everything was in order. Thanks for sorting it out (as a bot should have). --Zefr (talk) 16:41, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
The {{rfc}} template follows normal rules for template parameters - the order of unnamed parameters (such as |bio and |sci) is significant, but named parameters (such as |rfcid=5AB69EA} may occur anywhere, including between two of the unnamed parameters. This is why the template displays correctly even if the two types of parameter are mixed. However, Legobot does not obey template parsing rules, and considers certain items which must occur in the order that Legobot is expecting them: (i) the five characters {{rfc (ii) one or more valid RFC category codes, each preceded by a single pipe, e.g. |bio|sci (iii) optionally, a |rfcid= parameter having a seven-character value that Legobot chose itself (iv) the two characters }}. Any deviation from that - other than the absence of the |rfcid= parameter (which Legobot will add itself) - and Legobot will fail to handle the RfC correctly. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:41, 6 September 2019 (UTC)
Pinging User:Legoktm in case he wants to have a look at the code. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:27, 26 September 2019 (UTC)
As has been noted here and elsewhere, Legoktm is not maintaining Legobot except for Unbreak Now!s, and has asked (several times) for a volunteer to take over the tasks currently performed by Legobot (there have been a few tentative hands raised, but only for the GA-related tasks). Since (i) the problem is limited in effect (one RfC is not copied to all of the listing pages that are linked in the {{rfc}} template); (ii) nothing is being compromised or damaged, the RfC publicity processes otherwise continue normally; and (iii) we know the workaround for this problem (move the RfC category parameters so that all of them occur before any other parameters), it's not an Unbreak Now! and thus I doubt that any remedial work will be carried out. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:15, 26 September 2019 (UTC)

RfC question content update

If an RfC question is updated on the talk page, will the User:Legobot update the question on the WP:RfC page as well? —Wei4Green | 唯绿远大 (talk) 00:24, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Why didn't the bot include the content of my question from Talk:70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China#rfc 88C735C in Wikipedia:Requests for comment/History and geography and Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Politics, government, and law? —Wei4Green | 唯绿远大 (talk) 04:08, 30 September 2019 (UTC)
@Wei4Green: I answered these questions at User talk:Legobot#RfC question content update, please observe WP:MULTI. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:39, 30 September 2019 (UTC)

Reopening an RfC

There has been a recent RfC close that has been challenged on several grounds. The RfC is now being cited as providing new rules in RM and similar discussions. Suggestions? Andrewa (talk) 17:55, 2 October 2019 (UTC)

Answered here. Andrewa (talk) 20:20, 2 October 2019 (UTC)
As noted there, the usual procedure is described at Wikipedia:Closing discussions#Challenging other closures. Although, now that I think about it, it's a moderately unusual thing to do. (The undocumented and un-encouraged response is to revert the closure. However, this is usually only successful if the closing statement very obviously does not represent the discussion.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:06, 4 October 2019 (UTC)
As you say, it is unusual. The suggestion before was WP:AN but the edit notice at AN there says If your post is about a specific problem you have (a dispute, user, help request, or other narrow issue needing an administrator), you should post it at the Administrators' noticeboard for incidents (ANI) instead. Thank you.. So I'm going to AN/I. Andrewa (talk) 22:17, 6 October 2019 (UTC)

Survey on how to respond to an RFC

Pinging Bloodofox|talk, Pudeo, Nblund, David Gerard, Feminist, AmbivalentUnequivocality, Starship.paint, MarioGom, Ozzie10aaaa, Guy, Simonm223, Aquillion, and FULBERT:

Each of you has recently voted in an RFC at WP:RSN about whether The Epoch Times is a desirable source for the English Wikipedia, and I have a question about your process. For the purpose of this question, it doesn't matter what your view of the source is. What I want to know is, how did you come to your conclusion, and how long did it take you? I'm trying to learn more about how RFCs operate on Wikipedia.

So a typical answer might sound like "I read the RFC nominator's question, and I spent three minutes clicking around the source's website" or it might sound like "I read all the RFC comments and the beginning of the Wikipedia article about the source. Altogether, I probably spent five minutes making up my mind." It could even sound like "I remembered this source from a previous discussion, so my mind was already made up". If there is something that was more useful than other options, then feel free to call that out (example: "I read the RFC question and the Wikipedia article, and I found the RFC question more useful".)

There is no wrong answer. I'm really just looking for information about what you did and how long it took. If everyone is doing the same thing, or if everyone's doing something different, then we might be able to find ways to improve the documentation and perhaps find some ways to make RFCs more efficient for editors. On the other hand, if everyone says that figuring out the answer just required glancing at something for a few seconds, then there may not be any realistic process improvements available to us. So please give us as accurate an answer as you can. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:44, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

  • I'm a regular on the WP:RSN as something of a perennial dissenting voice on the relative reliability of newsmedia, particularly with regard to A) that any newsmedia is considered reliable for the construction of an encyclopedia and B) that which newsmedia is treated as reliable maps so directly to which newsmedia reports a bias on events preferred by western liberal democracies. As such, I keep an eye open for threads on RS/N about newsmedia in general. Now I do have a set of presuppositions from which I work that are derived from my many years of on-again, off-again Wikipedia editing:
  1. All newsmedia carries a strong bias.
  2. The bias of newsmedia includes an inherent recentism which is at odds with WP:10YT
  3. The bias of newsmedia also universally includes a selection bias that shapes what Wikipedia treats as notable and contributes through that selection bias to our WP:SYSTEMICBIAS problem.
  4. Some newsmedia is particularly egregious when it presents overt falsehood as if it were fact or opinion.

In addition to that, I have a very long experience with the Epoch Times as a source, having been involved in the arbitration case regarding the Falun Gong very early in my Wikipedia career. This outlet has remained something of a thorn in my paw since then. I have felt somewhat vindicated by the additional scrutiny the Epoch Times has faced since 2016, since I've been saying precisely what outlets like the New York Times have been saying about this particular source literally for years. So how long did it take me to reach the decision to call for the deprecation of this source? There's two answers both of which are true: the first is that it took me precisely as long as it took to type my comment. I fully admit I entered that discussion with my mind made up. Because that's the other answer. I've been developing this opinion both on the use of newsmedia in general and on the use of this specific outlet in particular since June 2009, when I first encountered the way it was being abused to shift the POV of articles on a controversial new religious movement that I'd encountered through the martial arts forums that represented my main online hangout before I got involved with Wikipedia. So how long did it take me? Ten seconds; and nine years.

So I guess the tl;dr answer to your question is that I have a set of beliefs about the use of reliable sources on the project and keep an eye on the noticeboard in hopes of persuading others that these beliefs will improve the project. When I choose to participate in these sorts of questions it's generally in order to do that. Simonm223 (talk) 18:00, 9 October 2019 (UTC)

  • I follow WP:RSN closely but do not participate often. If I recall correctly, I have commented before on some sources but I don't think I have !voted in many general RfC. In this case, I vaguely remembered stumbling across questionable references to The Epoch Times in some of my areas of interest, so I decided to dig into it. I'm not sure how much time I spent with it before writing my comments, probably somewhere between one and two hours. My process, which was not particularly systematic, was something along the following lines:
    I read quite a few random news from different sections, choosing topics I have a minimum degree of familiarity with and got a general feeling of the kind of reporting. I read one issue of a few of their magazines too. The later quickly gave me the cues on the sort of fringe theories they promote, which are very prominent in their opinion sections. Then I read various news pieces (outside opinion sections) that bear some topical relation to these theories. At this step, it took just a few minutes to find several news pieces pushing for these fringe theories in news pieces, adding zero reporting to what they took from elsewhere. Then I wrote my comment and posted some examples.
    My !vote was "4 or 3" because 1) I think the general reliability problem is severe, although not as much and not so obvious as, let's say, Breitbart News and 2) I think that WP:DEPRECATE currently might not emphasize enough that the source is still usable in some contexts.
    Thank you for opening this survey. I'm very interested in other answers as well! Best, --MarioGom (talk) 18:36, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
    • I love that the first two responses have such different time scales. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:19, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I read the NBCNews, New York Times, and Buzzfeed coverage of the source, as well as their Facebook advertising (illuminating!) and the main space links on Wikipedia I also spent some of my off time the last day and half just browsing the page. I usually have a short list of search terms that I plug in when trying to get a sense of source quality. E.g: "Chronic Lyme", "Vaccines", "QAnon", "Climate change". All of those are issues where there are some clear facts that any decent outlet should cover, and in all of those cases the source failed to do so. Like MarioGom I was torn between "deprecate" vs. "generally unreliable", I voted for deprecation here primarily because of the effort to mislead readers about their affiliates (covered in the NBC report), and their defensive non-response to the criticism. There's a difference, in my view, between sources that are sloppy or biased, vs. sources that actively seek to mislead readers and fabricate stories. The Epoch Times falls in to the latter category. Nblund talk 18:40, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing if you look at my user page you will see that looking at sources is one of my main activities at Wikipedia - I am intimately familiar with Epoch Times, so probably not a particularly useful respondent here. It did take me some time and some reading to be confident that Epoch Times was an unreliable source, but I did it a long time ago. It's one of those oddities like the Washington Times that looks superficially reasonable but when you scratch the surface you find sufficient bias that it can't be trusted. [6] has been pretty dependable as a first stop, though. Guy (help!) 20:40, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
I wonder whether the link to Ad fontes Media ought to be promoted a bit more to editors who work in news-focused content. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:18, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I regularly edit on fringe topics on Wikipedia (usually folklore studies-related stuff), and so I'm a regular on Wikipedia's fringe and reliable source notice boards. It's difficult to quantify how much time it took me to realize what the Epoch Times is all about. Over the last few years, I've encountered the paper distributed in U.S. cities beside generally reliable operations like the New York Times, coverage of the increasingly infamous German branch in German media (although I have yet to encounter a physical copy in Germany), and, finally, U.S. media coverage of the many tentacles of the operation (such as various articles mentioned above). I recall also encountering the now-notorious ads placed by the Epoch Times on social media while working on a research project for an entirely different subject. On a surface level, the Epoch Times seemed quite suspicious to me when I first encountered it. Once I dug a bit deeper, I was surprised to find exactly how far the rabbit hole went—and it only seems to go further: As journalists note, we still don't know who is funding all of these very expensive and rapidly multiplying Epoch Times operations. All that considered, it took me no time to come my conclusion (which I'd summarize as 'this is an obvious propaganda machine, under no circumstances should it be considered reliable, and it needs to be blacklisted from Wikipedia ASAP'). :bloodofox: (talk) 21:43, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • It varies a lot depending on the type of the RFC and whether I'm commenting early or late (if I'm commenting early, obviously there's more pressure to think through my position in detail and lay out out carefully, and I clearly don't have the option to read other people's arguments; if I'm commenting late, I can read other people's arguments and weigh them, which tends to be faster.) For disputes over article content it can also be useful to glance over the discussions leading up to the RFC, although it often gets a bit circular and obtuse by the time it becomes clear an RFC is necessary. WP:RSN RFCs are generally slightly easier because by the time a source is being discussed there people have generally dug up a lot of secondary coverage, but it can also be useful to do a search myself to see how the source is covered or described elsewhere - and to look at its Wikipedia page; while we don't cite ourselves directly for articles, the Wikipedia page for a disputed source often has summaries of its controversies with sources you can check to see how serious they are, and a summary of its reception that can give you a good starting point in determining if the source has a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. --Aquillion (talk) 22:50, 9 October 2019 (UTC)
  • I'll give you an answer only for this particular RfC. I already remembered physically seeing a copy of the Epoch Times with a frontpage promotion of the Spygate conspiracy theory against Donald Trump. As far as I am concerned, that is fringe. I then read the entire discussion so far, and I agreed with the points other editors were making. They pointed out that the source was peddling antivaxx and QAnon - even worse! I trust my fellow editors. Then I voted. This may be different for other RfCs. starship.paint (talk) 00:20, 10 October 2019 (UTC)
  • How long I spend deciding how I feel about a source varies greatly depending on whether or not I have any prior knowledge of the source, and whether there has been widespread coverage in other sources I consider reliable. If I do have prior knowledge, I read a few articles by that source (usually the first few articles by a given source that show up in my News feed), and then do some searching to see what publications that I consider reliable have said about them, and then read the arguments presented by people who have already answered to see if that changes my mind. If I have no previous knowledge of a source, I will either (a) refrain from becoming involved in the discussion, or (b) do pretty much the same thing I would have done if I had known about it previously, but spend quite a bit longer on each step. I generally won't get involved unless, after researching it, the answer seems obvious and well supported. If I spend a several hours researching a source and can't come to a firm conclusion, which usually happens when there is very little coverage in reliable source, I am not particularly comfortable casting a vote. The exception is if the source is obviously pushing fringe theories (anti-vax, climate change denial, holocaust denial, flat earth, etc.), in which case I don't feel the need to do any real deep digging to see what reliable sources say other than verifying that the source is actually pushing those theories, which is enough for me. AmbivalentUnequivocality (talk) 05:46, 10 October 2019 (UTC)

Role of voting

In my ongoing quest to keep up with how the role of RFCs evolves in this community, I bring you this recent comment:

Comment It would be much easier for people to take part in this conversation if the RFC was reworded to fit within the standard style of RFCs so people can use 'support', 'oppose' etc. Please can it be changed? John Cummings (talk) 17:12, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

(Hi, John! I hope you don't mind me using you as an example.)

The RFC in question has struggled a bit, with editors not really understanding what's wanted. The question asked originally might have been overly broad, and what's perfectly obvious about the Manual of Style to a long-time FAC coordinator is not necessarily obvious to others. But what struck me about this is that it seems to express a preference for binary choices (e.g., as opposed to an evolving conversation that would develop compromise language through interactive discussions) and for voting.

This isn't the first time I've seen this, but usually it seems to be a sentiment expressed by newer editors. I wonder whether the community has moved past the idea that Wikipedia:Voting is evil, and is more interested in quicker, less nuanced approaches to dispute resolution. What do you all think? WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:46, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

I'm not sure there's a conflict between preferring binary questions and opposing voting. What people object to about voting (polling) is vote counting - majority rule. I'm a big fan of binary questions (usually multiple ones) as a way to reach a consensus easily, but binary questions in RfCs rarely elicit simply poll responses. Even when the requester sets up a "survey" section and requests that arguments go in a separate section, the survey section is full of elaborate arguments following "support" or "oppose", and many of the survey responses don't even start with "support" or "oppose". The binary question still helps frame the discussion. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:16, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
But a binary phrasing seems to discourage people from creating alternatives. "Should we use this picture?" might get elaborate reasons for the yes/no responses, but the real question can really be reduced to two options. I'm not sure that it makes as much sense to ask yes/no questions to elicit suggestions on how to phrase complex or sensitive information. You can say "yes, the current version is fine" or "no, it's not", but if you want editors to work collaboratively to develop new sentences, and hopefully to compromise somewhere in the middle between two factions, that goes beyond the yes/no paradigm. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:22, 6 January 2020 (UTC)

Dubious RfCs and reverting them

As I have noted at Wikipedia:Deletion review/Log/2019 December 30#Media reports of persons hospitalized involving the 2019 vaping lung illness outbreak, I think WP:RFC is lacking in guidance for when to launch an RfC (I think it is far too lax), and what to do with a contested RfC launch, there bieng a case here of a unilateral revert of a dubious RfC. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:43, 31 December 2019 (UTC) Withdrawing the struckthrough comment, having been pointed to WP:RFCNOT. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:12, 2 January 2020 (UTC)

SmokeyJoe, are you thinking about a rule that says "don't start an RFC about AFD outcomes"? WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:48, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
No, that thought did not occur at all. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:04, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
More some kind of steps in preannouncing an intention of filing one. And as I have argued previously, some process in drafting the right question. Or at least not a bad question. I think there should be some requirement to show that lesser steps of seeking consensus have been tried. I previously suggested requiring a seconder, that is, someone to countersign in agreement to the call for an RfC. Some here disagree because a lone editor could be blocked. However, as we see with this case, the RfC can be blocked by reverting the RfC. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 07:09, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
There are a number of questions here, and I'll tackle just one.
In my experience an RfC runs until there is a consensus to abort it, always discussed within the RfC itself (that could be a separate subsection within it). I've seen perhaps 5 or 6 disputed RfCs in six years, and one has been successfully aborted. If an RfC is that clearly inappropriate, a consensus to abort it should not be overly difficult. Can you say how this approach is inadequate?
It should be obvious that a single editor can't block an RfC, so I'll assume we're talking about a "BRD" approach to RfCs; i.e. not a block but rather a challenge-by-reversion. I would oppose that – if RfCs were subject to processes normally applied to article content, we could end up having to run an RfC to decide whether to run an RfC. ―Mandruss  07:37, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
I think it would be impractical to have in WP:RfC guidance at the level of specificity that would prevent the RfC in the example. If we tried, it would be so voluminous that people wouldn't be able to find the guidance applicable to any particular case. Rather, the advice on when it is appropriate to open an RfC should go in the pages about other processes. In the example here, an editor opened an RfC to solicit comments on whether an AfD discussion was properly closed, and did so without first discussing the close with the closer, and the claim is that was an inappropriate use of an RfC. I'd rather see that stated in whatever page covers the AfD process than in WP:RfC. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 18:13, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
As for how to contest the opening of an RfC, I would support a section describing the process User:Mandruss does - if you don't think the RfC should have been opened, discuss that within the RfC, with the possible result that the RfC gets ended and or the discussion closed early. But the discussion does not get deleted. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 18:13, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
WP:RFCNOT already says not to use RFCs for splits, merges, and deletions, which seems to cover the instant case pretty comprehensively. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:41, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, I had missed that. It provides a justification for reverting the RfC. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:38, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
The hole here is that RFCNOT doesn't mention DRV. This is because I overlooked it when I drafted up that section. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:48, 1 January 2020 (UTC)
Yes, RfCs should not be used where DRV is appropriate. I don't think anyone doubts that.
RfCs should not be used for WP:Merging or WP:Splitting, I think that's good, although a closely related question might be put to an RfC.
The process here to my reading came from use of WP:AfD to reverse a bad BOLD WP:Splitting. AfD is not supposed to be used for merging, but "merge" is an allowed standard outcome from AfD.
At this point, I am not saying anything here is broken. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:08, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
User:SmokeyJoe, do you think that this small change might help a potential RFC-starter in the future?
I agree with you about the merge/split thing. To use the instant example, if AFD says to merge, then you're stuck with the merge (or you can contest it at WP:DRV), but you could have a whole series of RFCs on exactly how to merge the pages. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:44, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
I think it helps. I think readability helps. I have tried putting it in table format for easier browsing. I think it could be better organized, better sorted. I think that piped links make understanding harder for first time readers. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:07, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
My original list was sorted alphabetically, because any other order would be subjective. When I actually added the list, I kept that order but deliberately put "Asking for help or assistance" at the top because it's most relevant to newbies, who are the ones that I most often see starting RfCs for trivial matters. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:25, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
RFCNOT. I'm not sure if you like the table format or want to revert it? I think it helps in reducing a lot of wordiness. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:31, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
  • One thing to remember... while many RFCs are filed in order to resolve disputes, not ALL are. Sometimes an editor just wants some community input. Blueboar (talk) 15:50, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
    • Right. It is the open ended RfCs that have bothered me the most. If there is a dispute between a few people, it is usually easier to define the question. The recent examples of problem vague RfCs have been on WP:Portals. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:28, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
      • Meh... sure, vague RFCs can be less than helpful if you already understand what the actual problem is, and need to resolve that problem. However, a vague RFC can be a great way to DISCOVER what the problem is when you are not sure. Blueboar (talk) 23:52, 2 January 2020 (UTC)
        • True, but what if two or three are running in parallel? Eg one in userspace, one on the guideline talk page, and one (or more spawned) at the Village Pump VPP? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:39, 3 January 2020 (UTC)
          • It depends... if they all relate to the same issue (ie they are duplicative), I would say we can combine them by closing (not deleting) all but one... with a closing comment pointing to the one that remains open. (and I would go with the venue that is likely to bring in the most participants). However, it may be that there are multiple issues at the same article, and each issue could benefit from community input independently from the others. In which case, having multiple RfCs is not a problem. Blueboar (talk) 23:29, 9 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I routinely zap inappropriate use of the {{rfc}} template, as here. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:13, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Pre-clearance for RFCs

User:SmokeyJoe, I believe that you are entitled to say "I told you so!" now. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:59, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Well, I tried to contribute to RfCs generally, and found it very very hard. The questions typically seemed written assuming a familiarity with the issue and history as held by the few already participating. Rarely is the question biased, more the question is hard to contextualize. It's easy to point out problems, harder to suggest solutions, and very hard to suggest solutions that will be refined to better solutions instead of being shot down for their weaknesses.
My RfC wishlist, for features that would make it easier for me:
(a) Some system of pre-clearance. Minimally, a readability check by a second person. Ideally, an agreement by existing debaters that the question is well-framed.
(b) Every RfC on its own subpage. This enables watchlisting of the RfC. It can be transcluded onto the talk page so that talk page visitors see it.
(c) All RfCs formally closed, even if closed with "Closed, inadequate participation. No consensus."
Noting User:S Marshall/RfC close log, I wish that User:S Marshall could comment.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:34, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Any system of pre-clearance likely would have fixed that one before people had a chance to start voting, but adding complexity and bureaucratic layers might make people less likely to use RFCs.
We might be able to have a sort of fake section-watchlisting system (someday, not soon, and not for "free" – there are tradeoffs involved).
Do you want "closing" (discouraging further comments/boxing up) or summarizing? WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:41, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Likelihood of using RfCs?? My suspicion, gut feel, is that RfC-starting is too easy for some who do it, and RfC participation is too low and is biased. I think a little pre-clearance procedure would be good for both.
Section-watchlisting system? Isn't that a pipe dream? What's wrong with an RfC on a subpage. Big RMs on subpages have worked well. RfCs on village pumps are I think the worst for anyone who uses a watchlist.
Closing? What makes me sad is finding an RfC that petered out and was archived without a close. Or was it acted upon without a close? I like archive boxes with a closing summary up top. The ideal closing summary is one that means I don't have to read the RfC. A close "no consensus" is OK but not ideal. A close: "No consensus, editors are split in support of A & B. C was rejected. D was ignored" is better. A good RfC question makes easier good participation and good closing. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:55, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I dunno. How would a requirement that they be closed even be enforced? What do you do if it doesn't happen? When an RFC doesn't get closed, who do you complain to? I suppose bots could be required to never-archive an unclosed RFC, but would that really be helpful? Having an open RFC that nobody wants to touch linger on a high-traffic page like a carcass isn't great, either. --Aquillion (talk) 06:50, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree, Aquillion. Forcing unclosed RfCs to stay live would be most likely bad. I think I might like to see stale RfCs bot-closed. Maybe it would just be aesthetics. Maybe it would be a useful to the few watching that stale RfC to see it closed, for the sake of closure (psychology). --SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:04, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
Some sort of "closed by bot as stale; if this discussion has not yet been archived, any user who thinks this is premature may re-open it, and any user who could legitimately close this RFC may replace it with their own close" could work, yeah. --Aquillion (talk) 22:08, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • I agree that something should be done about malformed, non-standard, problem RFCs; it's extremely difficult to address them after they've started attracting comments, especially when the discussion is contentious. Far too often I click into an RFC from RFC/All and find that it's just a complete mess - basically a threaded discussion with an RFC tag slapped on top of it. But there seem like a lot of dangers - one problem with pre-clearence is that there could be an intractable dispute over the wording of the RFC, whether it's biased, and so on - nobody wants the madness of an RFC over your RFC. I'm also a bit leery about the added red tape given the importance of RFCs to conflict-resolution - yes, this is a problem, but RFCs do work, on the whole, so anything that could make it harder or more complicated to start one should be considered carefully. New users sometimes screw up when making an RFC, but we also do want to encourage them to start one if they're in an intractable dispute rather than just going around in circles fruitlessly. --Aquillion (talk) 06:50, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Meh... not all RFCs should be a choice between pre-set options (“choose: A, B, or C”)... I often find that my opinion is not represented in any of the pre-set options, and so I have to add an option “D” halfway through the discussion. I find it better to ask the more open ended: “In situation X, what should be done?”
I think that such open ended RFCs are often very helpful, as they can inspire “outside the box” thinking, and introduce solutions that no one has thought of. Blueboar (talk) 14:06, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree. Open ended RfCs are great. It is still good to have them summarized when closed/archived. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:51, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Thanks for the ping, SmokeyJoe. Yes, I've closed a hundred-odd RfCs and here's what I've observed. (1) I don't feel that Wikipedia has a problem with malformed RfCs. Where a question isn't neutrally worded to start with, as occasionally happens, I find that the participants are able to edit it until it's right during the course of the debate. There are occasional exceptions and outliers but everything has exceptions and outliers. (2) I agree that the questions are sometimes unclear at first glance. This is usually because we phrase RfCs as questions without context. There is no substitute for going back through the history reading the diffs until you've established a sequence and you know what each party is trying to achieve ---- this helps when you're closing the RfC, because when you come to read the debate, you know which participants are involved in the dispute and on what side, and which are independent. Independents summoned by bot are helpfully neutral but they often answer without reading the history thoroughly, and I usually assume they're missing the context. Independents' answers are sometimes a bit tangential to what's actually at issue. (3) RfCs are the way we're supposed to resolve content disputes. I feel that this means RfCs should be "cheap", by which I mean cheap in volunteer time. One of the things I most like about them is that they're quick and easy to set up and that's a feature we shouldn't lose. (4) A couple of years ago, Amy Zhang interviewed me via Skype. I think she was considering setting up a software tool to help with RfC closes and she asked me about it. I'm afraid I discouraged her. Her tool was going to help sum up the arguments presented and the number of editors supporting each option. I said that I felt that RfC closers (and participants) need the context and the sequence just as much as they need the arguments and the numbers.

    Is this helpful?—S Marshall T/C 14:59, 8 January 2020 (UTC)

To pithily summarize: There isn't really a problem needing fixing. I mostly agree.
I hear, to come in cold/neutral to an RfC is naturally very difficult. Asking for the RfC question to be improved for the independent participant would likely be a bad idea. A good RfC participant will read the background.
--SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:57, 8 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree that a good RfC participant will read the background, but I never do. I just don't have the time, and that task is really tedious because of the way discussions wander. I'm an example of S Marshall's cheapness point. If a requester cannot present a simple and independent question, that RfC just won't benefit from opinions of editors like me. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 18:00, 10 January 2020 (UTC)
Thinking about S Marshall's point #2, we could encourage people to add diffs: "If this RFC is about an edit that's been disputed, consider including a diff in the RFC question".
I think that having (some) RFCs summarized conflicts with the goal of having (future) editors understand the consensus. The tool that Zhang et al. were working on would have exacerbated this. Every thread gets reduced down to a single decision – more like task management software than like a discussion of logic and sources. Some summaries are helpful (The Decision™ is Officially X now, and them as don't like it can lump it at their earliest convenience). In some cases, though, there are complex and subtle arguments getting reduced down to a yes/no/no-consensus decision. Sometimes the details matter at least as much, or even more than, the overall end result.[7] WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:05, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Extra timestamp in unexpected position apparently succeeds

For some years now, I've been observing the behaviour of Legobot regarding RfCs, and had determined that it looks for the first timestamp after the {{rfc}} template. Thus, I expected this edit by Iryna Harpy (talk · contribs) to fail (with Legobot subsequently removing the {{rfc}}), since the new timestamp is after the old one in the text, not before. However, apparently it worked - Legobot has ignored the first timestamp and taken the second one as the applicable one, which is clearly Iryna Harpy's intention, but not the way that Legobot has operated in the past. I suspect that it might be the position of the closing </s> tag, being inside the parenthesis of the "(UTC)". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:29, 12 January 2020 (UTC)

Thanks for pinging me in on this one, Redrose64. For all intents and purposes, this is exactly the response I anticipated as the bots accomplished what what it was intended accomplish: supersede the previous RfC. Because I was not thinking clearly and in a hurry, not knowing whether I'd remember to submit the RfC in 5 minutes time (for reasons of personal ill-health), I just went for a clean relisting even though I believe the outcome to be already be clear. Has Rosguill contacted you over reverting back to the perfectly valid original RfC? If so, I think it should be reverted rather than have my addle-headedness stand in the way of a legitimate RfC. Iryna Harpy (talk) 06:07, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

The Gentlemen (2019 film)

Should The Gentlemen be referred as a crime comedy, which it clearly is or an action crime? Stuv3 (talk) 14:16, 25 January 2020 (UTC)

This is posted on the wrong page. This talk page is to talk about the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment.
A good place for this question is the talk page for The Gentlemen. I see the question is already there, and did not garner any responses, so it may be appropriate to make the question a Request For Comments as described in Wikipedia:Requests for comment, to get a wider audience. But I would recommend against that. Instead, since you apparently have an opinion on the question already, you could take the lack of interest to mean no one cares as much as you and just edit the article to conform to your opinion. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 11:11, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Formatting for RSN's generally-unreliable RFCs

There are 10 RFCs open at RSN now. This has not been a particularly unusual number for a while now, now that some editors seem to be trying to get every third source officially banned from Wikipedia.

I've noticed an unfortunate pattern in them, that a bland, context-free RFC is started, and then a few comments later, someone declares that the editor who started the RFC is doing this as a sneaky attempt to overturn a previous decision. Or the original editor will propose a source that's not being used at all, or that has never been discussed (or has been discussed repeatedly, always with the same outcome), so we're wasting people's time, and the responding editors don't know what's going on.

I have therefore suggested a change to the format at Wikipedia talk:Reliable sources/Noticeboard#Formatting the general source RFCs, and I've love it if you could post your views or other suggestions over there, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:20, 31 January 2020 (UTC)

Eyes wanted

Could a few folks take a look at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Medicine-related articles/RFC on pharmaceutical drug prices? This is the result of an ANI discussion, and we are trying to minimize legitimate complaints about neutrality. (We've been promised that one such complaint will be forthcoming because it links to a list of article content that was scraped by an editor on the "wrong" side of the dispute, but I don't consider that valid. It's not like the article content would be magically different if someone else had searched for the same keywords.)

What I'd like from you is (1) a note about whether you find any neutrality-related problems, and also (2) to put this on your watchlists. If we're lucky, we'll get a lot of responses, and we might need some clerking. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:45, 23 January 2020 (UTC)

One more thing: The question links to several policies and guidelines. Do you think I should post notes on their talk pages? I'd been thinking about it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:46, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
Update: IMO this RFC is going really well. Nearly all respondents (and there have been a lot!) have been 100% constructive from their first word. The subject matter is technically challenging, but everyone's bringing what they can to the discussion, whether that's real-world knowledge of the subject matter, or information about how similar questions are handled in other areas of Wikipedia, or deep understanding of the content policies. It's a joy to watch this unfold. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:09, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

ArbCom suggests wording for an RFC

...but part of the suggested wording isn't neutral. One of the questions implies that it is necessary and desirable for editors to "ensure" that portals get used more.

This has been discussed at Wikipedia talk:Arbitration Committee/Noticeboard#Wikipedia:Arbitration/Requests/Case/Portals Closed and elsewhere, and ArbCom members have agreed that the suggested wording was not intended to be the actual questions, and that it's fine to improve upon it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:12, 3 February 2020 (UTC)

What not to use the RfC process for - second helping

Following on from WT:Requests for comment/Archive 16#Specifying that RfCs should not be listed on AfDs, I have more suggestions for the list at WP:RFCNOT. First, there are cases where somebody has used a {{rfc}} as a pointer to a discussion that is taking place elsewhere - templates such as {{fyi}} or {{please see}} are intended for this. Second, I think that the "Deletion processes" row is too narrow in scope, since (for example) WP:RFD covers the repurposing of redirects, not just their deletion, and we shouldn't be using RfCs as an alternative to the RFD process. But I don't want the list to become too complicated. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:34, 19 February 2020 (UTC)

Your first case is improper use of the template, not of the process – the editor didn't intend for an RfC to occur there. Therefore I think that would be out of place in the table. Trying to fix failures to read the instructions by adding more instructions is self-defeating, and likely futile. ―Mandruss  12:05, 19 February 2020 (UTC)
Well said. I agree. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:23, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
I see what you mean about the "Deletion processes" line. It refers to the "Deletion Process" page, but that page covers a bunch of things similar to but not actually deletion - like repurposing redirects.
I believe having a single table entry here pointing to a page that breaks out into a bunch of other things that only weakly form a category makes the table too complicated, and it would be simpler just to take all seven of the venues listed at WP:Deletion venues and add them to the "What not to use the RfC process for" table. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:23, 23 February 2020 (UTC)
The RfD one was a consequence of, most recently, this edit. The other one was this edit. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:55, 23 February 2020 (UTC)

Are RfC's for disputes only?

Can you submit an RfC on any issue that you would like additional input on or should it be reserved for cases where there is a dispute? RfC's are positioned as part of the dispute resolution process but the introductory text on the RfC page is more open:

Requests for comment (RfC) is a process for requesting outside input concerning disputes, policies, guidelines or article content. RfCs are a way to attract more attention to a discussion about making changes to pages or procedures, including articles, essays, guidelines, policies, and many other kinds of pages

I welcome editor input on this. Qono (talk) 23:48, 20 January 2020 (UTC)

It's more a case of what RfCs are not for, see WP:RFCNOT. Also, an RfC may not be appropriate when WP:RFCBEFORE still leaves other possible avenues. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 00:03, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
Redrose64, are you saying that as long as it doesn't fall under WP:RFCNOT, there needn't be a dispute to list it as an RfC? Qono (talk) 00:09, 21 January 2020 (UTC)
RfCs are an important part of the dispute resolution process, but that's not all they are. I don't see any contradiction. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 21:02, 22 January 2020 (UTC)
You are not required to have a dispute. In my experience, dispute-less RFCs are uncommon, more pleasant, and attract fewer responses. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:49, 23 January 2020 (UTC)
"Request for comment". The name explains the purpose. If there is something that needs wider input from the community, and does not have any other specific way of getting it, RfC is the way to get it. · · · Peter Southwood (talk): 05:45, 2 March 2020 (UTC)

The Tale of Two Charles's

I've just discovered that Charles James McDonnell and Charles J. McDonnell are two separate articles about the same person, and they have both existed side by side of each other for almost nine years. I wasn't sure how to go about this, or which article to fold into which. Rusted AutoParts 03:32, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

@Rusted AutoParts: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment, it's not a help desk. Nevertheless, see WP:MERGE. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:50, 8 March 2020 (UTC)
For future reference, the help desk is (appropriately) at Wikipedia:Help desk, aka WP:HD. ―Mandruss  10:51, 8 March 2020 (UTC)

Responses from sock puppets

This RfC has received responses from two sockpuppets of a user. One of the responses was removed by the administrator who imposed the blocks for sockpuppetry, but since I am the proposer in this specific RfC, I'm not sure what to do about the other one. I'd like to know whether it is appropriate to strike or even remove responses from sock puppets from RfCs in general. Cheers! KyleJoantalk 18:35, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

See the next-to-last bullet at WP:TPO. ―Mandruss  18:49, 10 March 2020 (UTC)

Relisting RfC?

Does anyone know how to relist an RfC? I was advised by an admin here to relist an RfC that I started in order to get more input, but there are no instructions at WP:RFC to explain how to do it.  Bait30  Talk 2 me pls? 04:31, 20 March 2020 (UTC)

Yes there are, at WP:RFC#Duration, paragraph beginning "To extend a current RfC". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 00:09, 21 March 2020 (UTC)
Thanks so much! I was looking too hard for the actual words "relist".  Bait30  Talk 2 me pls? 06:15, 22 March 2020 (UTC)

Extension question

If after 30 days an RfC has only generated four comments but has reached a consensus, is it appropriate to extend said RfC to obtain more comments? KyleJoantalk 14:16, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

KyleJoan, you should keep an RFC open until you have consensus, whether that takes one week or ten. You should not keep soliciting input from outside editors (=what an RFC actually does) if you already have a consensus. WhatamIdoing (talk) 15:26, 27 March 2020 (UTC)

Non-binding nature

This is another problem that needs to be addressed. Some editors still believe that RFC results are binding. They're not. They're normal talk page discussions with an advertising mechanism (and which we therefore hope will even more perfectly reflect the views of the community), but consensus can change, and I've helped overturn at least two bad RFC results myself (one about nude images in Pregnancy and another about Chinese journals at MEDRS), with everyone much more satisfied after the original discussions were rejected. We probably need to put this directly into the page. RFC results are basically binding only if and when ArbCom says they are, and then only temporarily (in their rare "have an RFC and whatever the result, you have to live with it for at least a year" motions). WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:38, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

RfC results are binding to the same extent that consensus is binding. They can only be overturned by a closure review, by another RfC, or in certain situations based on common sense like being obviously out of date. Certainly consensus can change, but if we go around emphasizing that consensus is "not binding", it misses the essential point that you can't edit contrary to it until you actually establish a new consensus. Sunrise (talk) 18:17, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
"Binding" isn't the word we use to describe normal consensus. IMO it'd be much more accurate to say that RFC outcomes are presumed to reflect the consensus at the time of the RFC. I agree that we must scrupulously avoid swinging the pendulum too far in the other direction. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:45, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
I think "binding" is a pretty good word for it, and the rest of your statement indicates bindingness isn't what you're concerned about. We are all definitely bound to edit according to consensus, and the result of an RfC (a good one) is a closer stating clearly what consensus is. And we try really hard to respect the closer's conclusions about consensus. Otherwise, what are we doing here? I don't want to put anything in the page that weakens any perceived authority of RfCs.
But you don't talk about ignoring an RfC result if you don't like it, because it's not binding - just a recommendation. You talk instead about consensus changing and through further discussion demonstrating that consensus is different from the closing of a prior RfC. So is your point really that RfC results are not immutable? I wouldn't mind saying that in the page. But I'd want to say that any new conflicting consensus has to be unambiguous. If people go to the trouble of determining consensus through an RfC, that shouldn't be lightly discarded. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:16, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
"Not immutable" feels true.
I don't think we can demand unambiguous outcomes. No consensus is a possible outcome, and what to do under those circumstances is pretty complicated. If the first RFC outcome produces a weak consensus to ______ and the next one has an RFC outcome of no consensus to do that same thing (but no consensus not to do it, either), then nobody really knows what to do. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:08, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
You have a good point about no consensus being a possible outcome, but I don't see that that stands in the way of demanding an unambiguous result. If a closer of an RfC says, "there is no consensus on this issue", that's pretty unambiguous, and it overrides a previous RfC that was closed with, "consensus is to ______" and puts the situation back to nobody knows what to do. Welcome to Wikipedia. Ambiguity as to whether there is a new consensus or lack thereof would happen when the new discussion is not an RfC, or not closed, and at the end of the discussion, there are conflicting views as to whether the original consensus still holds. In that case, you need a new RfC if you want to stop following the prior one. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:16, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
If it were really unambiguous, then I think my wiki-friends wouldn't all be at WP:ARBREQ right now, with a fight about whether "No consensus to include this information" means "I can include it in hundreds of articles, because there is no consensus against it" or "This should be removed, because there is no consensus for it". WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:43, 1 April 2020 (UTC)

We need some limits

Related to the discussion we had at Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Archive 16#One editor withdraws, another re-opens?, we have another editor who has seven open RFCs, plus has extended an eighth RFC that had been opened by someone else. The most recent was in response to editors not agreeing completely during the first five hours of their discussion.

The RFC process has a Tragedy of the commons aspect to it: A single editor can hurt everyone by filling the RFC with discussions that could easily be solved through normal discussions, without requesting broader support. This is the second time in a year that we've encountered this misuse of the RFC process. Should we consider an actual rule against this? I don't have a specific "rule" in mind, but at the more stringent end, it could sound as restrictive as no editor should start more than three RFCs a month, with the prospect of a TBAN for egregious or chronic offenders. WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:33, 25 March 2020 (UTC)

  • This is the age old problem of it being too easy to start the heavy RFC process. Whether the problem is (i) too many RfCs on overlapping questions; (ii) a poorly thought out or phrased question; (iii) RfC being overkill; etc, the common problem is that a single editor in a whim can create a month+ long train wreck that encumbers any other efforts in the meantime.
This is not to say that this problem reflects most RfCs or RfC initiators, but that the cost of a poorly considered or prepared RfC is considerable.
My suggestion is a light RfC approval process. Someone who knows about RfCs must check the proposed RfC for problems like the above, question the proposer if the question or intent is not clear, and assist in copy editing the RfC opening statement. This might take a day. Or two. That compares very favourably with several weeks of multiple RfCs that are predictably not going to achieve anything. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:08, 26 March 2020 (UTC)
I too am sensitive to the overload of RfCs and would like to find a way to have them fewer in number and higher in quality. The idea of somehow screening RfCs for quality before they are published has not been supported in the past, but maybe a per-editor quota is simple enough. I'm for it. A quota just on RfCs that don't result in a closing with consensus found might also help. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:31, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
I understand the reluctance for screening becoming a barrier for access to RfCs. It is a valid concern. However, I am sure it can be handled. It needs to not be possible for a particular editor to unilaterally block the RfC idea of another.
A per-editor quota sounds like a very sensible small step. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:33, 27 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm liking the idea of "sensible small steps". We should (ironically enough) probably run an RFC over this, mostly by way of advertising the change.
SmokeyJoe, realistically, if you want a mandatory pre-approval process to happen someday, then we should start by designing, implementing, and staffing an optional pre-approval process. Editors are very unlikely to agree to requiring something that they haven't seen before. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:20, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Not wanting to get ahead of myself, but yeah, how could it work? One thought was to add a line in the RfCbot, to catch it on launch, and list it on a new page as an RfC launch in progress. This would be to give RfC expert volunteers 24-48 hours to review and talk to the RfC initiator. If no one does anything, it goes through automatically as now.
A possible response I image might be: Hey Joe, I see you have listed an RfC on X at page. Can we work on making the question more neutrally worded?
SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:54, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
Too big a step. A good place to start would be to put together a committee and noticeboard for reviewing RfCs and a suggestion on this page to pass your RfC by this committee before starting it. A further step could be to include a flag in the RfC lists and solicitation emails saying the RfC has been so reviewed, which potential commenters could use in deciding if it is worth their time. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:28, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
You lost my interest at the word "committee". ;-p WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:39, 29 March 2020 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: "the RfCbot" is Legobot (talk · contribs), and any solution which involves changing that bot is impractical unless somebody else is willing to take over all of the bot's current tasks. Legoktm (talk · contribs) has been trying to unload them for some years now, and is not carrying out enhancements of any kind. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:59, 30 March 2020 (UTC)
You mean Legobot task 33. It would be great for someone fresh to take it over. It sounds like small improvements can't be made because the bot is too heavy. Is "dilapidated" the right word for this? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 01:18, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
  • The ironic thing is that before we could implement any such change, we would probably need an RFC (or three). Just saying. Blueboar (talk) 22:04, 28 March 2020 (UTC)
    • Oh the inertia! What would be the first question? Is this an idea worth developing? — Preceding unsigned comment added by SmokeyJoe (talkcontribs) 01:18, 2 April 2020 (UTC)
  • Related this this thread, in this RFC close review, some suggest that this RFC was “malformed”. I’m not sure I understand. Why it should be considered malformed, although I can offer criticism of the RfC question and presentation. However, if it was malformed, what could the RfC process do to catch it? Would somebody have read that RfC opening statement and been inspired to say “Wait! Can we improve it before it gets advertised?” —SmokeyJoe (talk) 12:41, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
    • We also have the issue of people claiming that their is consensus and than trying to shut down any further discussion or development of consensus.
    • Additionally I have also recently seen a small group decide to format a RfC in a manner that a few voices could overpower the majority just by writing the most.Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 02:46, 13 April 2020 (UTC)
      • Doc James, starting RfCs prematurely can be damaging. WP:RFC says: "Editors are normally expected to make a reasonable attempt at working out their disputes before seeking help from others." First, it can end up being faster to discuss on talk than to wait 30 days, plus the time needed for someone to close it. Second, if the question is not carefully considered, it can leave the dispute unresolved even after the RfC has closed. Or resolved by people with no knowledge of the issue who don't realize the question is unhelpful. SarahSV (talk) 04:33, 13 April 2020 (UTC)
        • Agree with all those things SV. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 04:37, 13 April 2020 (UTC)
          • RFCs are supposed to be constructed so that "a few voices can overpower the majority", assuming that those few voices happen to be the ones complying with policies and following the facts. If we wanted to have majority rule, this page would be called "Votes". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:38, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
  • There are two paths we could take to addressing this issue: implementing a mechanism that tries to catch bad RfCs before they're launched, or implementing a mechanism that allows us to shut down/fix recently launched bad RfCs. Within the "before" category, the options are to either (a) set up a thorough but slow pre-approval process, which (as noted above) we're not ready to do, or (b) use a clumsy proxy for RfC quality (i.e. setting a monthly limit), which would block editors who are just active in areas that sometimes require RfCs and launch many legitimate ones. Those are both bad options, which leaves us with the other path, trying to figure out how to nip bad RfCs in the bud before they become disruptive. I like this approach better, and I've had success in the past just removing the RfC template when an editor adds it to a discussion where it's clearly inappropriate and working things out with the editors in that discussion. However, the issue with letting others in a conversation police whether it's turned into an RfC too aggressively is that the whole point of the RfC process is of course to prevent a local group from being able to control an area when outside editors might have a different view, so they can't be allowed to dictate it. Where I land given all this is that we should relax norms against reverting/refactoring bad RfCs, but that there should also be some scrutiny when that happens. (This is similar to closing discussions, where anyone can try it but it won't stick unless it's done well.) Perhaps removals of an RfC tag could trigger some notification to a noticeboard where neutral editors could check to make sure it was appropriate. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 10:08, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Short description

A couple of us have removed {{short description}} from this page multiple times now. What is apparently going on is that some editors have a goal of adding this template to most pages. AFAICT it doesn't seem to matter much to most of them whether the template is actually helpful, so long as it's present, and they have refused to implement a "go away" or {{Nobots}} system. Whatever text is in their template will appear in search results for mobile users. (You'd think that getting a decent description on to actual articles, i.e., the pages that people see in the default search settings on mobile, but I've been seeing a lot more effort to spam these into "back room" pages like this.)

The most recent proposed description was added by User:SUM1. It says: "Information page on the process of requests for comment on Wikipedia".

The problems with this description are:

  1. This page is not technically an Wikipedia:Information page (so the first half is potentially false/misleading).
  2. It provides no additional information than the title (so the second half is pointless/redundant).

If this isn't present, then the default description will be displayed ("Wikimedia project page", which is at least as pointless, but at least it's not wrong, and we don't have to look at it in wikitext). Do we want to have this wrong-and-redundant description displayed to mobile users? WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:18, 29 March 2020 (UTC)

The WP:SHORTDESC people desire a locally-generated shortdesc on every non-talk page. This is not just to ensure that one exists, but also to consciously override the Wikidata one, which is prone to undetected vandalism. See Wikipedia talk:Short description and its archives; also User talk:Redrose64#Short descriptions. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:56, 31 March 2020 (UTC)
I'm not very concerned about undetected vandalism for a page like this. My question is whether "we" want it, rather than whether "the SHORTDESC people" want it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:13, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
The SHORTDESC people's opinion of how this page should look is as important as anyone else's, but I personally think a short description is a good idea too. Something like "Information page on the process of requests for comment on Wikipedia" is significantly more descriptive, or at least clear, than the three-word title. It has to be accurate, though. You don't think this is an information page? How would you categorize it? I see pages like this called information pages often. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:51, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
It is certainly 'a page that contains information', but that doesn't mean that it's an official Wikipedia:Information page. I suppose that, like the various XFD pages, it's main purpose is to define a procedure, but that's a page type we haven't created (unless the procedural page is also a policy).
If you're happy to have this template on the page, then I'm satisfied. We'll have to figure out an accurate and non-worthless description. "Procedure for advertising a discussion to other editors", maybe? WhatamIdoing (talk) 14:38, 1 April 2020 (UTC)
The process is known as Request for Comments, so that's what should be in the short description. "Procedure for advertising a discussion to other editors" is a short description of the RfC process, not of the RfC page. How about "Description of the Wikipedia Request for Comments (RfC) process"? And no, I don't think the page title ("Request for Comments") makes it immediately clear that the page is a description of a process by that name, so I think this adds value. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 21:45, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
That sounds redundant. The description is never shown separately from the title. The editor sees something like "Wikipedia:Requests for comment – Description of the Wikipedia Request for Comments (RfC) process". Spelling it out that way doesn't provide any more information than saying "Process page" (and if it gets too long, then it's not visible). WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:43, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
As an example of the kind of undetected vandalism that I mentioned, here's one which went undetected for two and a half days. It prompted this edit by Interstellarity (talk · contribs). Now, is anybody here watching d:Q4654740? I'm not. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:39, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Unfortunately, some vandalism goes undetected. I understand that we cannot prevent vandalism as long as Wikipedia remains open to all, but we can take steps to make sure this kind of vandalism gets reverted quickly. Interstellarity (talk) 16:19, 12 April 2020 (UTC)
I'm watching the Wikidata entry. It is not a popular target for vandalism. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:46, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
As I understand it, the short descriptions are here to serve the mobile application. While it may not be common to browse the Wikipedia namespace with the mobile app, it is possible. I have done so. Rather than removing a short description, editorial iteration toward a suitably short and concise description seems reasonable to me. —¿philoserf? (talk) 21:54, 5 April 2020 (UTC)
The purpose of this template is to override Wikidata's description locally. Wikidata's description says "Wikimedia project page". WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:46, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Come up with a better short description for this page? Sure. Exempt this page for some reason from the shortdesc process (which, 2 million articles in, clearly has consensus behind it)? I don't think so, nor would that even be desirable as Philoserf notes above. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 10:20, 23 April 2020 (UTC)

Two edits to start?

If you have lots to say on the issue, give and sign a brief statement in the initial description and publish the page, then edit the page again and place additional comments below your first statement and timestamp.

I can see no rationale for two separate edits, and I oppose unnecessary complication. Propose change to:

If you have lots to say on the issue, give and sign a brief statement, then follow with additional comments.

Mandruss  19:30, 28 May 2020 (UTC)

Sure, seems fine to me. The important thing is that the initial statement is signed to cut off the part transcluded by the bot. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 19:40, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
Not necessarily signed, just in possession of a valid timestamp such as would be produced by WP:5TILDES. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:15, 28 May 2020 (UTC)
Is anyone zealously checking to make sure that you used a separate edit? If not, then I propose that we don't actually have a problem here, and that this set of directions is more likely to result in editors, at least 98% of whom have less experience with RFCs than Mandruss, doing the right thing. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:39, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
Strongly disagree. We are not talking about a massive undertaking to get the guidance in line with practice. If there is no reason to do two edits, there is no reason for the guidance to suggest two edits. I don't need to show an actual problem beyond the fact that the guidance is currently incorrect, which is itself a problem. ―Mandruss  23:50, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
I don't think the fact that nobody's enforcing this unnecessary rule is relevant. As it stands, some people are going to find it confusing and think there must be some complexity they don't understand that makes it matter if it's one edit or two. I like clarity. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:23, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that it's actually clearer. Most people are looking for a list of simple steps to take. "Write this; now write that" is "clarity". Most people are not trying to find subtle hints about what might or might not happen if they write "this" and "that" in the same revision. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:57, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
  • I find it annoying when it is hard to find out who wrote the rationale. Advice to sign a brief header sounds good. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:21, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
    As I understand from the above and reading Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment#Statement_should_be_neutral_and_brief; task 33 in Legobot responds to new text containing the {{rfc}} template. If there is any, it then searches forward for the first timestamp. It then copies that much text to the noticeboard. If somebody starts their RFC with one long post including lots of detail, then the bot will just copy it all. A long statement will make the list harder to read seems quite clear. So, maybe just add a little re-iteration after If you have lots to say ... edit the page again ...? Post a short summary (which the bot will copy) and then go back and add any further detail (which the bot will not copy). Also split Statement should be neutral and brief into two parts — Statement should be brief and Statement should be neutral.  — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 16:30, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
    Yes, it scans for the first valid timestamp. But that does not mean that the first timestamp needs to terminate a post. You can make a post that contains two timestamps, one after the brief statement and one at the very end - for example, Talk:Billie Eilish/Archive 2#Infobox image RfC 3. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:33, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
    True, but it goes against instinct. A talk post ends with a sig. Putting a sig (or just a timestamp) in the middle of a post somehow confounds feng shui. — GhostInTheMachine talk to me 09:27, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
    I guess it's hard to say how most editors view posting on a Wikipedia talk page. You yourself use two models in the same paragraph. First, a post is delineated by a sig. In the next sentence, it's delineated by pressing the "Publish changes" button. I agree it goes against instinct to write two sigs and press "Publish changes" once, because formal talk systems just have a Post button. But I also think editors of talk pages, especially ones that Legobot reads, need to get used to the idea that all that matters is the resulting text, and saying to write a sig/timestamp and then keep typing makes that more clear than saying to edit twice. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:47, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
    Instructions that "go against instinct" are not models of clarity. When we need editors to go against their instincts, we need to either re-word the directions to avoid that (which is what we did here: we are counting on their "instinct" to sign each comment to get the two timestamps that this needs) or we need tell them that this process will go against their instincts and that they're going to need to write something, sign it, write something else, and sign it again (probably with an example, too). WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:00, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

Is an RFC best?

The article Sly, Slick and Wicked has had a weirdly slow edit war (over the course of a couple of years?) about what band the article is meant to be about (there are two bands from the 1970s that have the same name). I think there needs to be consensus on what the article subject should be so that it doesn't continuously get changed. Is this topic appropriate for an RfC?

I would directly try to discuss with the involved editors, but the main editors involved are SPA IPs that seem mostly inactive. The article also seems like a niche topic, so I think that without an RfC, there won't be enough editor input for consensus on what the article should be about. I also suspect some COI editing, and one editor wrote in an edit summary something about a "court record" being the reason they changed the article content... so I assume extra eyes and input from experienced editors would be helpful. - Whisperjanes (talk) 20:59, 7 May 2020 (UTC)

Whisperjanes, Shouldn’t there be some conversation on the talk page so that these editors, across time, can make themselves aware? Even a summary of the issue you have observed could help. Additionally an Editnotice could bring awareness to editors of different opinions that only encounter each other at a distance. —¿philoserf? (talk) 21:05, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
@Philoserf: Yes, I don't mind starting a conversation. I'll start with that and leave some sort of message about there being 2 different bands, possible COI editing, and edit wars. I've never used an editnotice before. Would you have any suggestions in this case? - Whisperjanes (talk) 21:44, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
Whisperjanes, I am certain you have seen them. They are described here wikipedia:Editnotice. —¿philoserf? (talk) 21:49, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
I didn't realize that's what they're called, or that you can request to have them added to a page. Thanks! - Whisperjanes (talk) 21:59, 7 May 2020 (UTC)
User:Whisperjanes, have you looked into whether it's possible to write an article about the "other" band with this name? If you can, you could WP:MOVE the pages so that you end up with Sly, Slick, and Wicked (Los Angeles band) and Sly, Slick, and Wicked (Cleveland band), and have both articles point at each other. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:37, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I looked into it before I thought about doing an RfC, but it's hard to find online reliable sources for bands from the 70s with the same name. I personally couldn't find enough reliable sources for the LA band (there are enough for the Cleveland band, though, which was what the article was originally written about). So I don't have enough sources to create a separate article for the LA band myself. I also mentioned creating a separate article on the talk page, but I still haven't gotten a reply. It seems the unsourced edit warring is going on again, though, so I might just revert the article to a previous version and let people discuss it on the talk page. Especially since it's getting close to a month that this (new batch of edit warring) has been going on now. - Whisperjanes (talk) 06:59, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
Well... I know this will seem silly, Whisperjanes, but I think that writing that second article, even if it proves to be non-notable and gets deleted, is an effective path out of this mess. People are going to quit writing "is a group of out Los Angeles" when the page title says "Cleveland band" in it. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:42, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: I think that solution works well (not silly at all). Thanks for your help! - Whisperjanes (talk) 19:06, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

Multiple threads

An interesting situation has cropped up over at Death of George Floyd there are multiple threads all discussing his criminal record, so I launched an RFC to try and have it all in one thread. Now a number of users are still commenting in other (and even launching new) threads. So my question is, does an RFC have to take into account of opinions not expressed in it?Slatersteven (talk) 17:19, 31 May 2020 (UTC)

Yes. More to the point, determining WP:Consensus (the point of an RFC, right?) takes into account all the information known to the editors. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:56, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
But when someone closes the RfC discussion, that person will summarize that discussion. Not all opinions on the topic; just that discussion. And the closing of an RfC discussion carries a lot more weight in arbitrating what is the consensus of all editors on the topic than a bunch of unclosed, nonRfc discussions. So it behooves people who care about the topic to contribute to the RfC discussion, even if they also contribute to other discussions.
This is the same as the common case where someone starts a new RfC discussion to resolve a dispute that arose in a single, huge existing non-RfC discussion. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:10, 2 June 2020 (UTC)

RfC or AfD?

I wonder if an AfC is appropriate for the article Neo-Futurism? In Talk:Neo-futurism there is an extensive discussion on deleting the article. But no one nominated it yet. Perhaps a RfC should be tried before AfD? --Postconfused (talk) 09:16, 30 May 2020 (UTC)

  • You seem confused. What do you think AfC is? —SmokeyJoe (talk) 10:23, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
thanks for your reply. What I think is not relevant. I am asking what is the right thing to do. in the presert article is stated "If you are not sure if an RfC is necessary, or about how best to frame it, ask on the talk page of this project". so what is your advise? --Postconfused (talk) 13:37, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
If in doubt about an RfC, or an AfD, do nothing. Both require an editor who at least thinks they are sure about what they are doing. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 14:04, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. I didnt' ask what I should do, but what is the right thing to do. I am not going to propose either an AfD or a RfC. I am asking how experienced editors would manage the discussion about that article. --Postconfused (talk) 14:42, 30 May 2020 (UTC)
The more specific conflict resolution systems are preferred over RfC, so AfD would be more appropriate than RfC as a way to get consensus on whether this article should be deleted. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 17:03, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
User:Postconfused, the right thing for you to do yourself can be different from the right thing to be done. In this case, if you personally do not want to see the article deleted, then you personally should not send it to WP:AFD. If you personally do want the article deleted, then you should follow the steps at WP:BEFORE and decide how likely it is that the article would actually get deleted. Remember that WP:Deletion is not cleanup, so the current state of the article is unimportant.
Also, before you do any of that, you should probably look at the dates in those comments. Some of them are from 2014. Their complaints may not be relevant any longer. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:06, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing Thanks for your reply. Personally, I am not a deletionist. The article presents several fictious references. for instance, the definition itself of neofuturism is based on a reference from a another wiki https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Neo-futurism (ref 2]; reference 3 is not a reliable source, ref. 4 is a ted tak where there are no references to neo futurism, same for references from 5 to 14. is this article based on original research [WP:OR]? I was unable to verify ref 16, in ref. 17 quotation is correct. Then, we have the definition provided by a unknown manifesto and an author deleted by wikipedia. Reference 28 does not provide any source to confirm that Cohen gave any defintion of neofuturism, reference 29 is the url of a library (!?). I wasnt able to verify with google book the quotation in ref. 30. In addition the author mentioned in references 30, 31 wrote about futurism (eg Marinetti) in the 30s, but never mentioned neo-futurism. Actually, it was known for brutalist architecture. The question is: what can be saved and properly referred in this article? --Postconfused (talk) 18:00, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
User:Postconfused, have you read the actual WP:Editing policy? It might give you some clues. Beyond that general advice, the most important thing is to find and read a couple of good sources, and then do whatever you think is best. Don't count on other editors being interested enough to drop what they're doing and start work on this instead. WP:Be bold. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:55, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
On the article, I think it passes WP:NEOLOGISM, it is a recognized neologism, and it has a place. However, as a time-specific experimental fashion in architecture, I don't think it has great depth of potential for growth, or a body of interested adherents. I think no process should be employed, beyond incremental improvements. I don't think the taggery helps. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:50, 31 May 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing and SmokeyJoe: Thanks to both of you for the detailed explanation. Unfortunately, I feel uncomfortable to edit this article as design/architecture is not my field. I prefer writing about what I have studied/researched. But I am good at identifying fake references as I must read several student essays every term. One of these papers mentioned neofuturism but I wasn't able to find scholar pubblications to verify the existance of such a movement. Only this article neo-futurism seemed a reliable source but when I verified the references in the article I realised they were fake. Overall, interesting example of how a factoid can be discussed and eventually accepted. Postconfused (talk) 16:10, 1 June 2020 (UTC)
Postconfused. You "verified the references in the article I realised they were fake"? That's pretty serious. I looked at some of the references and thought they were OK, but I wasn't in a very critical mood. Can you elaborate on "fake"? We shold take this to the article talk page. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 00:12, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
When I put "neo-futurism" architecture into books.google.com and scholar.google.com, I find enough sources to be certain that it's a notable subject. Consider, e.g., doi:10.1080/10464883.1992.10734506: 'There are two distinct currents in this critique: "postmodern historicism" and "neofuturism." The former has reverted to the revival of architecture of the past to cloak today's technologically complex buildings with historical styles. The latter derives its imagery from the expressionistic unraveling of form to suggest the collapse of scientific and cultural meaning. Both trends represent cynical views toward the present: postmodernism escapes to the past, and deconstruction escapes toward the future.' WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:48, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing Thank you for your reply, in my professional experience I learnt that simply pointing your browser to Google Scholar won't help receive useful search results. For instance, the source you mentioned doi:10.1080/10464883.1992.10734506 received 13 views (including mine and yours) from 2012 (online version) and no citations from 1992 (printed version). In addition, what does "the collapse of scientific and cultural meaning" and "cynical views" mean? I did not find any scholarly book on history of design or architecture giving a definition of neo-futurism. I find very peculiar also the absence of neofuturism in textbooks considering the numbe of archi-stars 'dropped' in the neo-futurism article. Another oddity, I didn’t find any exhibitions or conferences on neo-futurism. The only event is the ICNFNFA [the link to the event is blacklisted by wikipedia and I cannot post it] organized by the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, which is defined by Wikipedia as a "a predatory publisher of open access academic journals" and "accused of arranging predatory conferences, in order to artificially boost the academic credentials of presenters and paper submitters". But, once again, I am not an expert in this field, I d not have any experience in architecture and arts and I might miss some relevant materials or sources. Postconfused (talk) 08:01, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe There is a significant discussion in the talk page about sources. Bricology provided a good assessment. For what I was able to verify, the majority of the sources are fictitious entries. Some editors are in good faith and might use unreliable sources, but in this article, there is a systematic use of unreliable sources to justify claims that are unverifiable. In my view, references from 1 to 20 do not pass WP:RS. In addition, other sources do not directly support the information presented in the article WP:CONTEXTMATTERS, eg ref. 29 or 30. Last but not least, the section on "The Neo-Futuristic City Manifesto" lacks of credibility and good faith. The article of the author was deleted and this [8] and [9] seemd spamming or promotional activity. But once again, I am not an experienced editor, I do rely on your and WhatamIdoing's experience in managing those cases. Indeed, what is your view? --Postconfused (talk) 08:01, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Wikipedia's rules do not assume that an article published in a mid-tier niche academic journal is fake merely because the individual article has not been cited or read very much.
  • Sorry but no one said that doi:10.1080/10464883.1992.10734506 is fake. It is the outcome of your google search. I gave you my opinion, it is a poor source and I am not going to use it to support a defintion of neo-futurism. Postconfused (talk) 19:03, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
    • You are not required to use any source, or to edit anything. However, it appears that Wikipedia's standards for sources do not match yours, and articles must be written to Wikipedia's standards. Perhaps you would be happier writing at Wikibooks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:30, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
  • Source #5 is certainly reliable for statements of fact. The magazine has been discussed several times and always accepted; some of the others may not be. We do sometimes find that people spam their own firm's websites into articles as "citations", for example. Wikipedia does not require scholarly sources for most subjects, including this one. You may request help evaluating each individual source (separately) at WP:RSN. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:59, 2 June 2020 (UTC)
Would you please take this discussion somewhere else? It has nothing to do with the Wikipedia:Requests for comment page. I suggest the Neo-Futurism talk page. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:45, 4 June 2020 (UTC)

Draft RFC open

Please see Wikipedia:Arbitration Committee/Anti-harassment RfC (Draft). User:SmokeyJoe, how would your review process handle something like this? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:27, 3 April 2020 (UTC)

  • That’s a particularly professional looking RfC. It’s on its own page, with a talk page for meta comments, and activity there, and there is a draft period before it is launched. That is ideal, more than should be realistically expected from a garden variety RfC.
In my review process, “new RfC patrol”, I would give it a tick. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 09:18, 4 April 2020 (UTC)
I don't know what outcome they're trying to achieve, so I'm not sure what (if anything) could be improved. But what would you recommend in terms of process? Draft it, post a note here/somewhere, wait a while for you to review it? WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:52, 20 April 2020 (UTC)
Glacial, isn’t it. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 21:57, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
Maybe, a draft RfC must have a minimum 24 hours review period, and a maximum of 7 days.
Commenting on an RfC on a question I am completely unconnected to to very hard work. However, I think commenting on the question would be pretty easy. Mostly the answer would be “yes”. Sometimes “this question doesn’t make sense”. A non-yes answer should be phrased as a suggestion for improvement. An RfC in draft phase for over a week, let alone months, is a failure that should be archived. —SmokeyJoe (talk) 23:55, 29 May 2020 (UTC)
So it'd be auto-approved if nobody objects within 7 days. A review could reduce the number of RFCs that have "Support" and "Oppose" votes, only the supporters and opposers have the same views. It might also help us head off some of the attempts to copyedit pages by voting for a half-dozen slightly different options. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:58, 3 June 2020 (UTC)
SmokeyJoe, what do you think about an experiment in which this page is the "noticeboard" for optional pre-RFC reviews? WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:33, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
I think that sounds like a good experiment. This shows that drafting is a failure, a fair bit of effort went into it, and for nothing. I think it supports the 1 week time frame for auto-approval, maybe extendable to a second week, but if the discussion-proper is not open by then, then it is a quagmire or abandoned. My thoughts have not been that this question-review period is about "heading off" something, but just that quality of the question correlates with quality of the discussion. Also, that consensus decision-making involves compromise often involving the phrasing of the question.
This page, WT:RfC, as the noticeboard? You mean proposed RfCs will be listed as a thread on this page, with discussion on the question to be put on the article talk page? I think that sounds good. --SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:34, 4 June 2020 (UTC)
WT:RFC as the noticeboard. I've made a section for it below, and I've linked to it in WP:RFC and at WP:VPP and WP:AN. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:18, 6 June 2020 (UTC)