Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Archive 19

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Adding a question to an existing RfC.

I often respond to RfC to help. My experience is often that an intermediary question should be answered before the main question can be answered in an informed manner. I wonder if it would be fine in these cases to add this intermediary question in the ongoing RfC, perhaps as a sub-question (while of course informing all those who already answered). For concreteness, the RfC that I am visiting now is Talk:Islam_in_Finland#RfC_regarding_the_"Terrorism_and_radicalisation"_section. The current question is "Should the Islam in Finland#Terrorism and radicalisation section be retained?" I wonder how one could answer this question without considering sources and even, eventually, possible modifications to the section. The intermediary question is "What kind of sources must be used to justify in accordance with WP:DUE and WP:Proportion the section Islam in Finland#Terrorism and radicalisation and its content? Are sources specifically about terrorism and radicalization valid or should the sources reflect more broadly the subject of the article?" An idea would be to get input from a notice board about WP:DUE regarding this question, but how to incorporate this to the RfC? Dominic Mayers (talk) 14:42, 2 November 2021 (UTC)

Telling people that they might get better input from a noticeboard is a valid response to an RFC question. So would be a response that says editors will need more information about sources, that you have questions, etc.
RFC is an advertising mechanism for ordinary talk-page discussions. As an editor responding to the RFC, you should respond in the same way you would for a normal talk-page discussion. As for how to do it, if you're one of the first, then I'd jump right in. If it's been going on for a while, especially if the responses are mostly bullet-list "votes", then you might prefer to create a ===Subsection=== for a discussion. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:56, 2 November 2021 (UTC)
I think I see your angle. I had already created a subsection and there has been a discussion, but it is kind of stalled. What I did not do yet is to propose getting input from a noticeboard. Should the RfC be closed before we go to a noticeboard or it can be done while the RfC is open? Dominic Mayers (talk) 23:53, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
Have you tried leaving a note at the noticeboard directing people to the ongoing discussion? Templates such as {{fyi}} may be used for this. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 09:00, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
I just want to be sure that it is an acceptable practice to request the attention of a notice board to a sub-discussion or sub-question of an ongoing RfC. Dominic Mayers (talk) 09:36, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
The main thing is to avoid having the same matter being discussed in two different places (WP:MULTI). It's also not a good idea to stop a discussion in one place and start again in another place, if the first place was a perfectly valid venue. That is, if the discussion is about one specific article, the best place to discuss it is at the article's own talk page, even if it has very few watchers and so is gaining little attention. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 10:03, 4 November 2021 (UTC)
So, your answer is a yes, it's fine to call the attention of a notice board to a sub-question of an ongoing RfC without first closing the RfC, but what would not be fine is to start a separate discussion in this notice board. I think I might rise it with a broad perspective that goes beyond the article in the Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard. Dominic Mayers (talk) 10:16, 4 November 2021 (UTC)

Can AfD's be RfCd?

Hi! I'm wondering if an AfD can be RfCd. I recently started one where the two other editors involved have previously had many discussions with me on related topics and I worry that (regardless of conclusion) if it's basically only us 3 discussing over and over it might not be indicative of community consensus. I wonder if adding an RfC to the AfD is possible as a good way to get more neutral and uninvolved editors to give their opinion on a discussion. Santacruz Please tag me! 09:46, 23 November 2021 (UTC)

For the love of God no. Wait for more people to attend this (new) AfD. They surely will. Alexbrn (talk) 09:47, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
I will Alexbrn, it's only been a day. Just had a question and wanted some advice on it, is all. Santacruz Please tag me! 09:50, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
@A. C. Santacruz:An AfD is, by its very nature, a request for comment - albeit one of a very specific scope. They are publicised in several ways, some automatic - such as WP:AALERTS; and some manual, such as WP:DELSORT, and an RfC is never necessary in addition (see WP:RFCNOT). Unless WP:SK applies, an AfD normally runs a minimum of seven days, and some people wait until at least the fourth days before commenting. If insufficient people comment for consensus to be clear after 7 days, there is always the option of a WP:RELIST. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 14:07, 23 November 2021 (UTC)

Not sure whether to have a rfc

Hi, I'm not sure whether should have a RFC on Template talk:Infobox writer#Proposed short description. Can someone help? ― Qwerfjkltalk 20:02, 21 October 2021 (UTC)

You would get more response if you explained here on what you're considering requesting comments and/or summarizing the discussion linked above. It's asking a lot of someone to read through a long technical discussion to glean that information.
I did, though, and I believe this is the issue: There is a question as to whether the short description for a page that contains the "writer" infobox should include the subject person's nationality as given by the "nationality" field in that infobox. (The infobox does not generate any short description today, but it is proposed that it do so). One editor believes it would improve the quality of the short description if it did; another believes this would encourage people to fill in "nationality" just for this effect, in cases where it should not be filled in. WP:INFONAT says not to fill in "nationality" when it's redundant with birthplace. There is some disagreement over whether this can be resolved with documentation.
There was a request for a WP:Third opinion, which was erroneously rejected because the 3O volunteer thought there were more than two disputants. This was because the same talk page section contained contributions by others on other matters (this goes back to what I said about it being a burden for people to read through long technical discussions).
Here's my opinion on whether it's appropriate for RfC: It would be better to bring this up in a more focused (than the entire Wikipedia community) forum, like maybe the talk page for MOS:INFOBOX. Or perhaps other followers of Template talk:Infobox writer could be persuaded to weigh in if they realized there was a dispute at the end of this section. Maybe a new section just for this question? If it doesn't work, that might at least make it easier for a Third Opinion volunteer to see that there aren't really more than two disputants.
Other followers of the Requests For Comments talk page often have ideas for alternate forums. Maybe with my easier description of the issue above, they will chime in now. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:16, 24 October 2021 (UTC)
I appreciate Giraffedata's summary above, and think it's good advice. @Qwerfjkl and MB, something to consider that might allow you to sidestep the whole issue with WP:INFONAT would be to source the nationality from Wikidata rather than the infobox. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 03:18, 3 November 2021 (UTC)
@Sdkb, an interesting idea, but the property "nationality" seems to have been rejected here. ― Qwerfjkltalk 13:46, 27 November 2021 (UTC)
@Qwerfjkl, we'd use country of citizenship (P27), which is defined for most people with en-WP articles. {{u|Sdkb}}talk 19:41, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
@Sdkb: Do you suggest a short description along the lines of
Writer from Indonesia
instead of, as it is currently,
Indonesian writer? ― Qwerfjkltalk 20:16, 1 December 2021 (UTC)
  • I would avoid adding nationality to most short descriptions. It usually is not what makes an author notable. And on the occasions when nationality is CENTRAL to the author’s notability, it can added to the short description by hand. Definitely do NOT import it from Wikidata. Blueboar (talk) 13:58, 27 November 2021 (UTC)
    information This has been answered on Template talk:Infobox writer#Proposed short description. ― Qwerfjkltalk 14:41, 28 November 2021 (UTC)

Discrepancy between pages: "Lotfi A. Zadeh" and "Dartmouth workshop"

I clicked on the "Feeling lucky" icon, which took me to the page for Lotfi A. Zadeh. Almost half way through the page it says, "Zadeh was also an active contributor to the AI community, including at the Dartmouth Workshop that coined the term "artificial intelligence".

So I clicked on the Dartmouth Workshop link and read some on that, including the section on participants. But there was no mention of Zadeh. (I did a search of the page with ctrl-F for find a text string.)

So either he wasn't there, or he was but not mentioned in the page. It seems he should be if he attended. Thanks for your attention to this.

--Brad Roth (talk) 03:37, 1 December 2021 (UTC)

User:Brad Roth: I guess you posted this to the wrong place. This is the talk page of the information page "Requests for comment" (which itself is about the Requests for comment (RfC) process for requesting outside input concerning disputes, policies, guidelines or article content. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:16, 4 December 2021 (UTC)

How can I have 'one' RFC at 'two' WikiProjects

I'm planning an RFC, but would like to know how to have it appear simultaneously at two WikiProjects, to increase editor input? GoodDay (talk) 10:28, 7 December 2021 (UTC)

Why not just launch in one place and advertise it at another? Alexbrn (talk) 10:29, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
There's a way to transclude them, but I can't remember. GoodDay (talk) 10:34, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
H:TRANS.—S Marshall T/C 16:57, 7 December 2021 (UTC)

Relevant discussion at VP:Policy

Information icon There is currently a discussion at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(policy) regarding unclear and contradictory wording in closure guidelines. The thread is Possible need to clarify/reword aspects of the closing guidelines/information pages. The discussion is about the topic Topic. Thank you.Santacruz Please ping me! 14:38, 28 November 2021 (UTC)

@A. C. Santacruz: You wrote The discussion is about the topic Topic. - what is "Topic" in this instance? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:31, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
Redrose64 oh my bad! I'm so sorry for that. I forgot to remove the optional topic parameter when using the discussion notice template. The topic is as mentioned in the first sentence of the notice, that of unclear and contradictory wording in closure guidelines, in particular closure by those starting an RfC. Santacruz Please ping me! 23:44, 28 November 2021 (UTC)
See also Wikipedia talk:Closure requests#Early-consensus time-frame for closures
One of the questions is whether the editor who started an RFC should be banned from summarizing the results. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:59, 7 December 2021 (UTC)

Notice of discussion concerning the inclusion of victim names

For all who have any interest, there is an active discussion at Talk:Oxford High School shooting#Names of victims concerning the inclusion of victim names in a mass shooting article. I wasn't sure if there was a way to convert this to an RfC at this point, but figured I'd drop a note here as an acceptable alternative. --GoneIn60 (talk) 01:18, 7 December 2021 (UTC)

This has now become a formal RfC: Talk:Oxford High School shooting#RfC: Including victims' names in the article. Elli (talk | contribs) 01:23, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Body of text missing from RFC listing

My RFC for Talk:Antisemitism in Europe is shown on the list of Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/Politics,_government,_and_law.

However, only the title is shown in the list. All of the text is missing.

Is this a bug? Did I make a mistake in my RFC? Or do I just need to be more patient?

-- Bob drobbs (talk) 07:11, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

@Bob drobbs: It's a known problem with Legobot (talk · contribs) that if the RfC statement (defined as the text from the {{rfc}} tag to the next valid timestamp) is too long, Legobot won't list it properly. This is one of several reasons why we have WP:RFCBRIEF. There are two solutions: (i) trim down the statement; (ii) add an extra timestamp (or signature and timestamp) part way through, as I did here. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:29, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
@Redrose64: Thank you very much! It's still not shown. Do I now just need to wait a bit? -- Bob drobbs (talk) 21:33, 8 December 2021 (UTC)
Legobot runs once an hour, and the listing page was updated with this edit. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:50, 8 December 2021 (UTC)

Extending RfC beyond 30 days

If I understand correctly, adding <!-- RFCBot Ignore Expired --> before the {{rfc}} template will prevent the bot from ending the RfC while the internal comment is in place. Must the comment be in place initially, or may it be added after the RfC I'd has been established but prior to the scheduled end? And, if the RfC is over 30 days running and the internal comment is removed, will the bot then end the RfC shortly thereafter? Thank you.--John Cline (talk) 09:30, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

@John Cline: the comment may be added at any time, you can even add it if you have reverted Legobot's normal removal of the {{rfc}} tag after thirty days. If the comment gets removed, normal action resumes: Legobot will remove the {{rfc}} tag on its next run, if the next valid timestamp is more than thirty days ago. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:47, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

Hi, I probably should have added the subject RfC to other topic areas (Wikipedia style and naming and Society, sports, and culture) but I am not certain how to do this after the fact? Regards, Cinderella157 (talk) 10:11, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

@Cinderella157: Just add the extra rfc categories at any point before the |rfcid= parameter (which must be last). So you can alter {{rfc|policy|rfcid=399E354}} to either {{rfc|policy|style|soc|rfcid=399E354}}, {{rfc|soc|style|policy|rfcid=399E354}}, or any similar form. Legobot will update the listing pages for the additional categories on its next run.
Adding categories when a valid one is already present is easy; it's more difficult to add categories when there are none to begin with and Legobot has already visited; and even more difficult to remove categories added in error. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:56, 21 January 2022 (UTC)

I'd like to add a RfC to the discussion of Society, sports and culture topic but I don't know how to do it. Dr Salvus 00:22, 23 January 2022 (UTC)

@Dr Salvus: The previous post says the essential. In the article's talk page, put something like {{rfc|<choose a category>|<pick another>}} at the top of a section. The section should be called something like "RfC: blah blah". The text that appears after until the first signature will be used by the bot to describe the RfC. The list of categories can be found in the Categories section. You must not put the rfcid. It will be added by the bot. You should read the instructions to make sure you describe the RfC in a neutral manner and also to avoid creating an RfC when there are better approaches. Dominic Mayers (talk) 01:19, 23 January 2022 (UTC)

Template:Rfc - requested move

 – Pointer to relevant discussion elsewhere.

Please see Template talk:Rfc#Requested move 13 February 2022. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:38, 13 February 2022 (UTC)

"will not" vs "won't"

Allright. So, we have a passage in the first sentence of the "Duration" sections that goes "...or until it is apparent it won't be". An editor, User:Veverve, changed that to "...or until it is apparent it will not be" [Emphasis not in original]. I reverted that, and another editor, User:Giraffedata, doubled down, with an edit summary of MOS:CONTRACTIONS. Per WP:BRD they should have taken it to the talk page instead, but fine, I am.

So, my main objection to the change is that MOS:CONTRACTIONS (and a lot of the WP:MOS) doesn't need to apply non-article space. I also have some secondary objections: MOS:CONTRACTIONS is a guideline that says it is "a generally accepted standard that editors should attempt to follow, though it is best treated with common sense" [emphasis added], that contractions is how normal people write, they are fully accepted as normal English, they are actually a little easier to read IMO, that making a change like this is just roiling the text to no gain (as there's no material improvement), and that doubling down on that is silly.

Per WP:BRD it's up to User:Veverve and User:Giraffedata to make their point and get consensus for the change. I get that this is not a world-shaking point, but it's a matter of principle and possibly a teaching moment about getting into a back-and-forth editing situation on minor points, particularly on rules pages, when an another editor has said it's not a worthwhile improvement. If it's worth doubling down on it's worth talking about. Herostratus (talk) 01:14, 24 January 2022 (UTC)

I really thought pointing out that the Wikipedia Manual of Style has a rule on this would resolve the issue; I assumed the two editors who put a contraction into the page were simply not aware of the rule, i.e. that a decision has already been made on this point of style.
Though you have a bunch of arguments that Wikipedia style should include contractions, I don't see any argument that this particular sentence or this particular page (or non-article pages in general) benefit especially from a contraction. So I don't see any reason not to follow the guideline.
Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:48, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
The manual of style is clear that it only applies to articles. Only "provisions related to accessibility apply across the entire project". There is no indication that contraction is related to accessibility. This means that, in principle, we are free to decide not to use them or to use them. Personally, unless the community as something against it, I am fine with idea that we can be less formal and use contractions more freely in the Wikipedia space. Dominic Mayers (talk) 03:53, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
As far as I am concerned, using "won't" or any abbreviation of this kind (such as "shouldn't", "don't" or "shan't") is too familiar; those uses should not be found anywhere outside of chat or forum conversations, letters to friends, or some oral conversations, unless used for stylistic effect (e.g. for the latter see Charles Bukowski). Veverve (talk) 04:53, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
Well but contractions are found everywhere in literature, newspapers and magazines, advertisements -- practically every kind of writing. And not "some" conversations but rather almost all conversations -- "I am going out and will not be back until three, so do not wait up" and so on isn't usual, is stilted, and smacks of showing off for. To insist on it here is silly. (For my part, an absolute ban even in articles, while probably for the best, is really overly rigid -- "Scientists believe that the atoll won't subside for at least ten thousand years" is as good as "Scientists believe that the atoll will not subside for at least ten thousand years" if not better, and I'll bet you'd find the former construction even in Science and Nature.) The dialect of some minority cultures, Oxford dons or whatever, may abjure contractions, but some minority cultures use "thee" or "twa" or "glitch" but we don't cater to them, either. Herostratus (talk) 14:45, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
I believe the point of Veverve is that the above argument would also apply to Wikipedia's articles and yet we don't accept contractions in them. In other words, there is should be no doubt that the Wikipedia community does consider that contractions are to be avoided in some contexts. The question is whether these contexts include Wikipedia internal pages. The Wikipedia community clearly expressed that MOS applies only to articles, except for accessibility provisions. So, there is no rule to my knowledge against contractions elsewhere. Every thing else here is only personal opinion. The only way to make it more than a personal opinion is to start a formal procedure. Dominic Mayers (talk) 16:54, 24 January 2022 (UTC)
I think it's wasteful to argue fine points of grammar on a page-by-page basis; it's better just to let a style guide arbitrate and the one we use for articles is a pretty good choice. I can see that some pages on Wikipedia ought to be less formal than an article and have contractions, including for example the page I'm editing right now, but an information page such as Wikipedia:Requests for comment should not be any less formal than an encylopedia article.
But I concede that the fact that the MOS guideline does not apply to information pages means the contraction rule therein isn't as dispositive as I thought. 04:24, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
Given that the project page still contains multiple contractions, it seems that if an editor was serious about their point they'd they would have checked the rest of the text as well... For the record, I concur that contractions outside of articles should be acceptable, mainly for arguments already put forward above. Chaheel Riens (talk) 07:29, 25 January 2022 (UTC)
I'm not seeing a consensus for the change, so I'm reverting back to the stable version.
There is a rule for situations like this, but it's not in the MOS. The rule is "if it's not important and not an actual problem, write as you think best, and give other editors the same courtesy, and leave their constructions alone". I don't know as that's written down anywhere, but that's basic common sense, so that's the unwritten rule I guess. I mean, how many times to I come across passages where I'm like "well I wouldn't have written it like like" and then be like "but that's just me" and move on. I recommend this mindset.
And re "there is no doubt that the Wikipedia community does consider that contractions are to be avoided in some contexts", well there sure is plenty of doubt (I doubt it) and there's no way to know what the community thinks.
Somebody, somewhere, sometime (2003 or whenever) wrote down -- perhaps after a discussion with a few other probably-now-long-gone editors, perhaps not -- that it's not permitted to write "Scientists believe that the atoll won't subside for at least ten thousand years". They could have written that it is allowable sometimes, and then that would be the rule. I grant that "never ever do this" is better than "you can do this is sometimes" because its easier to apply a simple rule. And fine, I approve of the rule (for articles), as having no arguments is better than having arguments, on minor matters of form. That, however, doesn't mean that the rule makes for better prose. It doesn't.
Some people like to write without contractions and are happy to follow the rule. Some (most I guess) don't much care but don't because it's the rule; if the rule was different they'd follow that. Some (I'd be in this group) don't always want to follow the rule but do anyway because it's not important and on unimportant matters it's best to follow rules to avoid having to fuss about it. But it's following the rule that is the virtue here, not the contents of the rule on its merits. Herostratus (talk) 01:05, 31 January 2022 (UTC)
@Herostratus:: First, I agree with your analysis. Second, you misinterpreted the sentence that you quoted from me. You wrote: And re "there is no doubt that the Wikipedia community does consider that contractions are to be avoided in some contexts", well there sure is plenty of doubt (I doubt it) and there's no way to know what the community thinks. If you do not ignore the "In other words" before the part that you quoted, clearly I was just saying that, because of its decision in the MOS, we know that the community recognizes that contractions should some times be avoided. This was just to make clear that we cannot say that the community does not care at all about contractions, because the MOS is a proof that it does care in some contexts. You specifically misinterpreted me when you wrote there's no way to know what the community thinks. Given the "In other words", which referred to the previous sentence, it is clear that I consider that the MOS reflects the opinion of the community. Of course, we cannot be sure, but it's a good and positive attitude to consider that the rules and guidelines of Wikipedia reflects the opinion of the community. That was the spirit of the sentence that you quoted and misinterpreted. Dominic Mayers (talk) 18:18, 31 January 2022 (UTC)
Alright. Fair enough. Herostratus (talk) 23:01, 31 January 2022 (UTC)
I just want to correct your misstatement that there is an unwritten rule that editors leave other editors' styles in place unless there's a real problem and it's important to make a change. That may be common sense to you, but has actually been discussed plenty in the Wikipedia community and the consensus is that is not the rule. You are arguing that the status quo takes precedence, and possibly article ownership. It's the idea that the wording of a Wikipedia page is first come first served - an editor has a right to have his words live on unless there's something wrong with them. That just isn't the Wikipedia philosophy. Wikipedia encourages change because it furthers continuous improvement and famously recognizes a brand new anonymous editor as having as much say as someone who has been maintaining a page for years.
I've seen the proposition that an article has to stay the same unless there is consensus to change it rejected many times. See WP:DONTREVERT. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:22, 4 February 2022 (UTC)
No, no, the unwritten rules isn't a Wikipedia rule. It's a real life rule, or two: "Don't be an annoying prig" and "don't be bourgeois snob" (not referring to you particularly of course, just other people and the general rule). Wikipedia is great, but it lives inside the real world which is even greater.
So, as to "an editor [doesn't have] a right to have his words live on unless there's something wrong with them", I mean, why not? Why cause trouble by messing around with text to no gain? Why should anyone care about or defer to somebody's particular peccadilloes regarding prose style? It annoys people, clogs the page history, is half the time not an improvement but rather the opposite, and is just generally useless. And I mean the Bible does say "Thou shalt not muzzle the ox while he treadeth out the corn", which I'll update to say "Let the person who researched and wrote the passage -- you know, the uh actual work of the project -- the satisfaction of presenting it as she finds best, within reason".
Of course if a passage doesn't scan, or can be made a little clearer, or violates normal rules of English grammar egregiously enough, or is just poorly written enough to be a problem, that's different. But I mean changing, I don't know, "They immediately ran to the walls" to "They ran immediately to the walls" to avoid the split infinitive, no, don't do that.
I think you got turned around here. There's no infinitive in those sentences. You were probably thinking of changing "They wanted to immediately run to the walls" to "They wanted immediately to run to the walls", which some people find to be a degradation. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:25, 17 February 2022 (UTC)
And if you do do that on an article I wrote or is on my watchlist, I'll probably just roll my eyes and move on. But I don't have to. If I'm sufficiently annoyed, I'll roll it back per WP:BRD as is my right on grounds that you're roiling the text to no gain and make you take it to the talk page and prove your point of you really want to (and if you can, fine). Wikipedia:Revert only when necessary is somebody's essay, it's a long essay but I guess I don't agree with the part you're making your point with.
Yes regarding contractions in articles, there's a rule, and fine. Is it a silly rule? I don't know -- probably. But it's not worth fighting about. But for other changes such as "improving" a passage by, for instance, changing "the band's singer was imprisoned for mopery" to "the band's vocalist was incarcerated for mopery" or whatever... no, don't do that. Herostratus (talk) 03:46, 4 February 2022 (UTC)
Yes allow contractions...and allow editors to spell them out if they believe the style would be improved. "I wouldn't've argued style's a tangible consideration except 'tis." Allreet (talk) 20:49, 15 February 2022 (UTC)
This question has come up enough that Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines has a section on it.
Also, @Herostratus, I think you want to read Wikipedia:What editors mean when they say you have to follow BRD, because BRD itself isn't something you can expect others to follow. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:26, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

Responding to an RfC

While it may seem obvious, I suggest this section say that when there is a discussion on an RfC, that is where discussion should be posted, rather than in the survey section, except for non-controversial requests for clarification. Editors should be allowed to move discussion to the discussion section.

A lot of RfC survey sections get clogged up with extensive arguments. That makes it more difficult for editors to quickly scan the survey votes and determine if they agree with any of the reasons summarized. Furthermore it results in replication of arguments. For example, several editors write "No per WP:LABEL we cannot call someone that." An opposing editor then responds to each of these votes. The original editors and others then respond, the opposing editor replies and soon there are repetitive walls of text.

TFD (talk) 14:49, 1 February 2022 (UTC)

These survey and discussions sections are optional, not a formal requirement. So we can't prescribe how they must be used. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:00, 1 February 2022 (UTC)
  • I sympathize. But sometimes a brief discussion in the “survey” section can be beneficial, allowing editors to explore nuances that help determine where consensus actually lies. If someone starts getting repetitious, just stop replying to them. And remember, letting the other person have the last word doesn’t mean they “won”. Blueboar (talk) 23:39, 1 February 2022 (UTC)
    Blueboar, you and the other sensible adults take all the fun out of arguing for arguing's sake. ;-p WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:27, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
I personally see an unfortunate tendency to use the content of the survey sections as a substitute for discussion. We would have to do something regarding how the content of these survey sections is used, i.e., reverse that tendency, before starting to prescribe rules regarding how this content is created. Dominic Mayers (talk) 00:37, 2 February 2022 (UTC)
I think it already says that; it's the definition of the survey/discussion format. But people just can't help themselves. It's one of the arguments against using that format -- it doesn't work. I've seen people boldly move discussion from the survey section to the discussion section (where it promptly dies). I don't recall if there was negative reaction to that. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:28, 4 February 2022 (UTC)
Perhaps, if the understanding was that it's the discussion section that is the primary ingredient to determine the consensus and that the survey section is only there to help the discussion, people would be less motivated to use the survey section for discussion. It's natural, if the understanding is that the survey section is almost used as a vote system and thus is the main ingredient to determine the consensus, that people feel the need to discuss directly within that section. In some RfCs, editors do a synthesis of the discussion and offer this as a way to determine consensus. I believe this kind of approaches to determine consensus, which are based on a synthesis of the discussion section, instead of counting votes, should be encouraged. The survey section should only be used as a help for the discussion, not as a substitute for it. Dominic Mayers (talk) 02:43, 4 February 2022 (UTC)
User:The Four Deuces, you have a point and I think you're probably right. But I haven't seen it as a huge problem, and people can skip long expositions in the Survey section easily enough. I wouldn't favor a rule on that. I think writing an essay and referring to it when somebody is being too prolix would be the best approach, and who knows people might pick up on it.
Also, way off topic, but I think "left" and "right" refer to the seating positions in the original French assembly in the First Republic. It's descriptive and just caught on, not by anybody's trying to prove anything. IMO. I could be wrong. Herostratus (talk) 03:56, 4 February 2022 (UTC)
Sure, people can skip long expositions in the Survey section easily enough, but people write in the survey section because they are rightfully concerned by the fact that the survey sections are currently used as a way to determine the consensus. Admitting that we ignore them when they try to enforce the discussion from the survey section will just make things worst. At the top of every RfC, there should be a note automatically inserted by a bot that says "Opinions expressed in an eventual survey and not reflected in a discussion can be ignored: no one should use polling as a substitute for discussion." Dominic Mayers (talk) 14:30, 4 February 2022 (UTC)
This could be solved by abolishing ===Survey=== subsections, and having only a ===Discussion=== subsection (in which most editors would place a vote, because many editors are unaware that RFCs are supposed to be normal talk-page discussions rather than primarily votes with an occasional question).
Pppery, do you think it'd be feasible to send an occasional "educational" message to everyone on the Wikipedia:Feedback request service list? Maybe "you can adjust your FRS settings, and here's three tips"? That could build a base of people who have actually read the directions. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:34, 21 February 2022 (UTC)
I'm not sure why I was pinged here, but I'll answer anyway. It wouldn't be too hard technically to send a mass message to everyone who is listed at FRS, but I'm unconvinced of the value in doing so. * Pppery * it has begun... 00:38, 21 February 2022 (UTC)

MOS RFC topic tagging

Do MOS RFCs get tagged just {{rfc|style}}, or also "policy" and/or "prop"? Levivich 17:24, 7 March 2022 (UTC)

@Levivich, I'd suggest style alone for smaller questions, and one or both of the others if you have a bigger question (e.g., a WP:PROPOSAL for a new MOS page or a question that could affect many MOS pages or many thousands of articles). WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:52, 16 March 2022 (UTC)

New RfC

I created a new RfC here but I don't see it listed in this, "RfC/All" page. Please help!-Y2edit? (talk) 09:06, 3 April 2022 (UTC)

Patience is needed as RfCs are not updated immediately. However, I have closed that RfC as premature. Johnuniq (talk) 10:21, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
@Y2edit?: It was listed at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Media, the arts, and architecture, from 09:01, 3 April 2022 (UTC) until 11:01, 3 April 2022 (UTC) - just two hours. Wikipedia:Requests for comment/All is built from Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Media, the arts, and architecture and a number of other pages; it occasionally needs a WP:PURGE to bring it fully up to date. So there is a chance that at 09:06, 3 April 2022 (UTC) - when you raised this thread - it hadn't yet been rebuilt; all you needed to do, other then the aforementioned WP:PURGE, was to wait and try again (but not later than 11:01). --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:53, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
Okay, thanks!-Y2edit? (talk) 22:03, 3 April 2022 (UTC)
Looks like a Checkuser block here. WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:51, 11 April 2022 (UTC)

Arecaceae bot parse error

(Invasive Spices moved this from Talk:Arecaceae#Agricultural economics RfC.)

  • Comment The prompt of this RfC fails to display in the bot-generated summary at WP:RFCA. –LaundryPizza03 (d) 08:50, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
    @LaundryPizza03: Yes. That's because Invasive Spices (talk · contribs) has a non-standard signature, where the datestamp lacks the time, thus making it invalid. Legobot can only recognise a datestamp if it is in the exact format that would be produced by signing with four or five tildes. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:36, 16 April 2022 (UTC)
That's very odd. Thank you for noticing and correcting this. I see the instructions do say so but I failed to notice it. Invasive Spices (talk) 16 April 2022 (UTC)

rfc for u

this page should be fully protected or semi protected so only admins or establised users can edit it Quident (talk) 18:40, 19 April 2022 (UTC)

the page u — Preceding unsigned comment added by Quident (talkcontribs) 18:40, 19 April 2022 (UTC)

@Quident: This is misuse of the WP:RFC process. Moreover, requests for changes to the page protection level should be made at Wikipedia:Requests for page protection. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:59, 19 April 2022 (UTC)
oh im sorry Quident (talk) 12:14, 20 April 2022 (UTC)

How many RfCs is too many?

Revisiting last year's discussion on RfC proliferation, which is now in Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment/Archive 18#Volume problems, I now draw your attention to Talk:List of political parties in Italy and its recent archives.—S Marshall T/C 16:20, 5 May 2022 (UTC)

  • Last year's discussion concerned having lots of RfCs open at once. In this discussion we're considering holding lots of RfCs in sequence, which is different and arguably less problematic. Nevertheless I think there is still an issue of depleting lots of community resources on a single, very specific matter.—S Marshall T/C 16:29, 5 May 2022 (UTC)


This RfC has been unused for months but hasn't been closed, is there anywhere I can request a resolution? Bill Williams 04:15, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

@Bill Williams: What RfC? Please provide links. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 07:08, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
I was just looking at this and I think he means the one at Talk:The Wall Street Journal. ("WSJ" is standard Americish, and it's a linguistically interesting abbreviation because you'd only ever type it out -- in spoken language it's fewer syllables just to say "Wall Street Journal".) Bill, you can post requests for closure on WP:CR.—S Marshall T/C 11:25, 8 May 2022 (UTC)
Ah okay, thanks for the help. Bill Williams 23:48, 8 May 2022 (UTC)

Suggestion on RFCs that involve the likely mass deletion/redirection of articles

Based on the mess that is happening at ANI due to a change at NSPORTS in which a number of criteria for notability were removed and thus affecting 1000s of articles, I would suggest that we have some advice or the like that for RFCs where mass deletion or redirection is likely to be an end result, that the RFC also should address how the change (if consensus is given) should be implemented. Whether there are articles before a certain date grandfathered in, or if there's a period of time to give editors the chance to fix the problem articles, or other means. RFCs that end with a reason to issue mass deletions or redirections without establishing a time frame or process are doomed to cause problems. --Masem (t) 15:44, 8 June 2022 (UTC)

Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius - just saying it’s an option. Blueboar (talk) 15:54, 8 June 2022 (UTC)
Immediate deletion could also be an option, but I would not assume that this is the default result of any RFC. A process should be considered to avoid confusion like we're seeing now. Masem (t) 16:01, 8 June 2022 (UTC)

Request for Comment on WP:RFC

In the attempt to create an RFC for the ultratouchy subject which is "Zionism as settler colonialism", several of the active editors attempted to vote to kill the RFC before it could go active or be noticed on (currently) mistaken procedural grounds. WP:RFC currently recommends using short clear questions and avoiding open ended requests but there's nothing about either being mandatory and the ending policies assume that conversation be allowed to procede until there's consensus that the issues raised have been adequately addressed. The posters above on the other hand truly believed that it was fine to shut off requests for discussion that weren't narrowly tailored to individual questions. (This would seem to require multiple RFCs for a single page when the issues to be addressed, as here, are wide ranging.)

  1. Does WP:RFC need to be rewritten to end all RFCs that are not phrased as short questions?
  2. Does it need to be rewritten to ban all open-ended requests for comment? or
  3. Does it need to be rewritten to more clearly explain that RFCs can't be "voted closed" by the group happy with the current page?

To my mind, it's clear that more involvement is always helpful, especially on ultrasensitive subjects. I know more recent wikipedians are more generally in favor of tighter gatekeeping, but do the admins really want cliques of local editors shutting out open requests for outside voices? If some specific person is being unhelpful or disruptive, that can be pointed out separately. On the otherhand, WP:OWNERSHIP used to be viewed as a bad thing, which RFC was a tool to help address without brigading or building up teams of allies (which just repeats the same problem at a higher level). — LlywelynII 16:09, 11 May 2022 (UTC)

The advice in favor of short questions and against open-ended requests is just intended to say the RfC is more likely to get useful results that way. If someone really believes her RfC is special and works better with a complex open-ended question, I'm fine with that, so don't think (1) and (2) are called for.
I think the existing explanation of how RfCs should end makes it clear you can't just end it because "I know I'm right, so no one else's input is required". This is the first time I've heard of someone thinking that the page allows for that, so unless I see more evidence of this mindset, I don't think (3) is called for -- it would just overcomplicate the text. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:47, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
Part of it is technical. If the RfC statement (defined as everything after the {{rfc}} tag up to and including the first valid timestamp after that) is too long, then Legobot won't list it correctly, as with these four. In such cases, Legobot also won't be able to identify the start time, and so will therefore be unable to determine the thirty-day limit either, and won't remove the {{rfc}} tag - this rfc should get delisted in less than three hours from now, but I'll warrant that it won't be. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:22, 12 May 2022 (UTC)
  • Bad RFC. As one of the people who !voted that it was a bad RFC, I object to your interpretation that people were trying to "kill" the RFC before it can be noticed or go active. The guidelines for RFCs are what makes them useful; like most of our policies, they are not and should not be hard-and-fast rules, but an RFC that has a non-neutral opening statement, and which asks a vague and sweeping question, and which is more intended to vaguely "attract attention" to an article, is not a good RFC; and "Bad RFC" expresses to the opinion that the flaws are serious enough that no action should be taken based on the RFC's results, without prejudice against replacing it with a better one. Because it's difficult to change or fix an RFC once people have started to respond, when someone makes a deeply-flawed RFC there will often be calls to halt it immediately so it can be reworked, but that is not the same as preventing someone from ever opening any RFC. I particularly object to your interpretation that the people who told you of your mistakes in structuring that RFC were only doing so because they were "happy with the current page", which is an unwarranted assumption of bad faith. On an ultra-touchy subject, it is especially important to be cautious with your language, to respect the need for neutral language in an RFC, to stick to the assumption of good faith and to avoid pouring oil on troubled fires, so to speak - words like gatekeeping and cliques of local editors are not the sort of language you should bring to someplace where you're trying to amicably resolve a long-standing dispute. Finally, as I pointed out to you there, there are numerous other methods available to call attention to an article if your goal is just to attract general attention to it (eg. WP:NPOVN is always open). Anyway, with all that said, this is a bad RFC because it replicates many of the problems of the one that sparked it (especially the extremely non-neutral opening statement) and because it's based on an inaccurate premise in terms of how you interpreted what people were saying to you. --Aquillion (talk) 06:09, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

Unsure if RfC is necessary

I have edited a handful of Personality disorder articles and right now, every personality disorder in this table on the Personality disorder article has a section on a Millon's subtypes. My short question is: Should Millon's subtypes be included in articles on personality disorders?

Here is a paragraph on my reasoning why this is an important issue to consider: most of these subtypes are over 20 years old, not used in modern psychology (to my best knowledge and by being unable to find sources for it), have been criticised for not being empirically founded, replicable, or useful in any aspects of treatment. My understanding from reading a bit of some sources is the theory stems from psychoanalytic theory. Right now none of the pages mention the lack of empiricism or basis in psychoanalysis, and in my opinion they should all be removed entirely except on an article specifically related to the subtypes history since I don't think they are notable or reliable sources compared to more modern and peer reviewed publications.

The reasons I am unsure if this is appropriate for RfC is:

(1) I have not specifically raised this issue on the talk pages there, since so many articles are affected and I'm worried about bombarding the WikiProject psychology page mentioning this.

(2) I'm not sure if it's better to put it on the reliable sources noticeboard, since the issue in my opinion is about both notability and reliability.

(3) Worried that being bold and removing them or qualifying the lack of empirical basis and psychoanalytic origin will be inconsistently changed/worded/rewritten/reverted on the many different pages, and possibly lead to edit warring, so I want to seek consensus first.

(4) Unsure if only posting about the issue on the Personality disorder page will attract enough input for consensus of a substantial change on a dozen pages.

(5) I'm not sure what the difference is between asking for feedback on the WikiProject page versus making a RfC.

I would appreciate any recommendations by more experienced editors on this. Darcyisverycute (talk) 07:01, 18 June 2022 (UTC)

  • I think it would be appropriate to start an RfC about this if you need to, but you might not need to. Generally I think it's best to try to reach consensus on talk pages first, and an RfC is one of the options you can consider if the talk page route isn't going anywhere. RfC is a relatively formal process, advertised to a lot of editors, so it eats up a lot of volunteer time. Volunteer time is Wikipedia's only limiting resource, so RfC is an "expensive" process, if that makes sense?
    If I were you I would start a discussion on Talk:Personality disorder and put a neutrally-worded link to that discussion on Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Psychology. I see that those are relatively low-traffic pages and I sympathize with your concern about not getting sufficient participation to make a decision, so I suggest you also link to it from a relevant high-traffic page such as Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Medicine. If these don't reach consensus then I think an RfC is your next stop. Hope this helps!—S Marshall T/C 11:33, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
  • Sorry to reply to myself, but I forgot to add:- I would not personally go to the reliable sources noticeboard about anything within the scope of WikiProject Medicine. The medicine people quite rightly have their own specialist rules appropriate for the field.—S Marshall T/C 11:36, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
    Thank you for the feedback :) I will do that. Darcyisverycute (talk) 14:08, 18 June 2022 (UTC)
  • The thing is, if you create an RfC, you will be starting a discussion on an article's talk page or the WikiProject talk page, so whatever qualms you have about doing that would apply. An RfC is just a talk page discussion with extra advertising to try to expand the set of participants. Where you can get a practical consensus without such additional participation, an RfC would be wasting people's time. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:04, 19 June 2022 (UTC)

List of presidents of the United States

The article had a RfC on issues including sortability, scope, and column order. It was closed on January 28, 2022. There was some initial disagreement on closing of the sortability part; more recently, I presented an alternative table formatting suggestion which has a wide consensus on the talk page. The primary question is that whether such talk page discussions can overturn consensus set in RfC (WP:CCC), or do we need another RfC to overturn an RfC? – Kavyansh.Singh (talk) 20:30, 19 May 2022 (UTC)

@Kavyansh.Singh, did you get an answer to your question? The answer is that RFCs do not really produce "binding" results. If there is widespread support for the new idea, then great! And if you need to have an RFC to placate some editor, then that's okay, too. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:47, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress

There is a move discussion in progress on Wikipedia talk:RR (disambiguation) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. BilledMammal (talk) 05:50, 29 May 2022 (UTC)

@BilledMammal: Why does it affect this page? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:55, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
The disambiguation page includes Wikipedia:Request for review of admin actions, which for some reason redirects here. BilledMammal (talk) 23:04, 29 May 2022 (UTC)
I wonder if that old page was related to the old Wikipedia:Requests for comment/User conduct process. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:48, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Unclosed RfC that was opened in August 2021

Hello. Any idea why Wikipedia talk:Piped link#RFC to clarify WP:EASTEREGG applicability to parameters in settlement infoboxes remains unclosed after over 10 months? Guessing because a bot removed the RfC template? I am going to re-add it, but please confirm either way. Cheers, Hwy43 (talk) 23:16, 3 July 2022 (UTC)

@Hwy43, there are three separate steps:
  • removing the tag – the bot will do this for you, so it's more or less required
  • boxing up the discussion/discouraging further comments – optional
  • adding a summary statement – optional
The first has been done. The second two are optional. In your opinion, would editors in that discussion benefit from one or both of the optional steps being done? If so, then anyone can do the boxing up step (although: why bother?), and anyone can request an uninvolved editor to write a summary. Read the directions at Wikipedia:Closure requests if you want to be the "anyone". WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:34, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
I just did this and the bot then did this quite swiftly. It would be nice if an uninvolved editor could now write a summary. As the RfC initiator it would be inappropriate for me to be the "anyone". While I think the consensus is clear, the issue is likely deemed a contentious one by one dissenter. If I am understanding Wikipedia:Closure requests correctly, it appears I need to request a formal close under the Wikipedia:Closure requests#Requests for comment heading. Hwy43 (talk) 02:10, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
@Hwy43: That is because 23:17, 3 July 2022 (UTC) is more than thirty days after 23:12, 22 August 2021 (UTC). You cannot reopen (or extend) an RfC in that manner, this is covered at WP:RFC#Duration and WP:RFC#Restarting an RfC. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:46, 4 July 2022 (UTC)
And, yes, that's how you request someone to write a closing summary. Now it's just a matter of waiting for a volunteer. It could be a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks, but if it stalls for more than a month, feel free to ping back here to ask us to find someone for you. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:08, 4 July 2022 (UTC)

Help for creating Request for Comments

I have seen these, "Request for Comments" but I am not sure how to do it correctly. I want to start 3 of these, 1) for the Nupur Sharma (politician) article, 2) for the 2022 Muhammad remarks controversy article and 3) for The Kashmir files article. Please let me know how to do so correctly.-Mossad3 (talk) 16:53, 5 July 2022 (UTC)

There are detailed instructions on the page for which this is the talk page (WP:Requests for comment). If you have specific questions, you can ask those here. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:03, 6 July 2022 (UTC)
@Mossad3, you should really consider doing only one of these (at a time). Even experienced editors find it difficult to manage three big discussions at the same time.
What kind of question do you have for (one of) these articles? WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:08, 6 July 2022 (UTC)
I have started the RfCs on all 3 talk pages. Thanks.-Mossad3 (talk) 08:21, 6 July 2022 (UTC)
For the record, these are: Talk:Nupur Sharma (politician)#RfC about adding what reliable sources say about her statement (17:19, 5 July 2022 (UTC)); Talk:2022 Muhammad remarks controversy#RfC about adding what reliable sources say about these Comments (00:30, 6 July 2022 (UTC)); Talk:The Kashmir Files#RfC about linking the term non-Muslim to the Kafir article (18:55, 5 July 2022 (UTC)). Of these, the third has already had the {{rfc}} tag removed by another user. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:12, 6 July 2022 (UTC)
It appears that the OP has been blocked for violating the Wikipedia:Sockpuppetry policy. At a glance, those first two discussions are going nowhere fast, and the third is not gaining much traction. It might be better to pull the tags. WhatamIdoing (talk) 06:20, 9 July 2022 (UTC)
Update: I checked into this and found out that, furthermore, the reason the editor created the sock puppet is that the editor is blocked. Consequently, the first two RfCs have since been ended and discussions closed. On the third, there is a warning that the RfC was not started in good faith, but was allowed to continue because some good discussion by unblocked editors had already taken place. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 17:25, 11 July 2022 (UTC)
Thanks. WhatamIdoing (talk) 19:53, 11 July 2022 (UTC)

"Wikipedia:Requests for review of admin actions" listed at Redirects for discussion

An editor has identified a potential problem with the redirect Wikipedia:Requests for review of admin actions and has thus listed it for discussion. This discussion will occur at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2022 July 19#Wikipedia:Requests for review of admin actions until a consensus is reached, and readers of this page are welcome to contribute to the discussion. NotReallySoroka (talk) 04:15, 19 July 2022 (UTC)

Possible RFC regarding spaceflight chronological timelines

There is a ongoing dispute on the question of whether a short passage should remain on spaceflight chronological timelines such as Timeline of space exploration and Timeline of the Space Race.

First human space mission that landed with pilot still in spacecraft and thus the first complete human spaceflight by then FAI definitions.

In it the side advocating the passage's removal claimed their rationale on the grounds of WP:MINORASPECT, WP:FRINGE and perhaps WP:SYNTH, while the side supporting the passage's preservation (including myself) claiming that it is a matter of semantical debacle around the definitions of "spaceflight" and "can and should" be covered in the article, alongside WP:GEOBIAS, Wikipedia:NPOV_tutorial#Space and balance's Articles need to be interesting to attract and keep the attention of readers and the risks of the "sin of omission" committed if the passages were removed. There are more neutral and nuanced views from a few stating that the passage should be rewritten or relegated into footnotes or note tags instead. For a time I had even proposed making a project level fork of some of the important bits of the Timelines to Simple English Wikipedia, leaving the intricacies or "esotericas" behind here.

It has been raised on NPOVN already however so far the consensus and/or participation remains too small compared to say the number of members in WikiProject Spaceflight, although somewhat rectified with the comments of a handful of other editors and experts.

As the discussion look like it's going to nowhere with one editor practically devolving into asking personally-pointed loaded questions, to break the impasse I'm wondering that whether an RFC should be started over the short passage, to generate a more impartial and comprehensive input and consensus from editors and/or readers.

If it's judged to be appropriate to start an RFC, then I've prefer to have a third party to help write the RFC since I was still suffering from chronic Covid and can't really do it properly. The venues for the RFC would be either Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight/Timeline of spaceflight working group. I pledge to be respectful of the ultimate outcome generate by the still-hypothetical RFC. (talk) 20:53, 19 July 2022 (UTC)

If all parties (including yourself, thanks for that) will agree to drop the subject and stop filling up talk pages and noticeboards with this stuff - even if the RFC doesn't go your way - I am all for it. MrOllie (talk) 20:57, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
That's good. I'll promise to move on regardless of the RFC result. Citation sources as listed so far in NPOVN are listed below:
Extended content (talk) 21:23, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
This is pretty clear WP:Forum shopping in an effort to WP:Game the system by an editor whose suggestions have already been resoundly rejected at two venues. This kind of behaviour should not be encouraged. TompaDompa (talk) 22:26, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
For the record, (talk) is the same person as (talk), as they noted here (Disclaimer: The original computer network was down so I have to use another network at another place, hence the address difference). TompaDompa (talk) 22:38, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
There is a lengthy ongoing thread at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard#NPOV issues in some sections at Space Race (the NPOV/N thread), and this should have been mentioned at the outset. Trying to start more discussions on other pages is a definite case of WP:FORUMSHOP. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:32, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
True, however, I think an RFC would work to centralize all these disparate discussions and resolve the issue. If necessary, hold it at WP:NPOV/N Blueboar (talk) 23:27, 19 July 2022 (UTC)
Besides that, the RFC would not be framed as a strict binary question since aside from outlandish proposal from me regarding forking to Simple English Wikipedia, there are more nuanced proposals such as rewrite of the passage, the use of footnotes, and FAQ templates on WikiProjects. (talk) 06:05, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
What disparate discussions? There are none linked above, other than the NPOV/N thread (and we certainly don't need another one on the same page, otherwise we end up with a situation like the current one at WT:N where there are about three lengthy threads about railway station notability). There are certainly no other related discussions at either Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight or Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Spaceflight/Timeline of spaceflight working group, although the former does have a notice of the NPOV/N thread. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 05:50, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
There are (or were) a "disparate discussions" at Talk:Space Race, and many time ago, here. Further it appears that the dispute has spilled over to Mercury Redstone 3 and Timeline of space travel by nationality‎. These page histories show that the passage was at the pages as a so-called "status quo ante bellum".
Since there is a rush to prematurely close the discussion, if an RFC is alright then it needed to be held quickly. I wonder if history-field users ought to be invited as the passage described something within the larger picture of Space Race thus the Cold War, and was quite linked to it. (talk) 06:20, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

Fine. Very surprisingly as of this time there are indeed RFCs hosted on those "central noticeboards", as seen here. I think I have come up with the first draft version of the hypothetical RFC:

Extended content

A dispute has arisen on articles pertaining to spaceflight, principally Timeline of space exploration, Timeline of the Space Race and Space age, over the handling of an information that is best exemplified by the passage listed below, and as displayed in 1, 2, and 3 in consideration of WP:STATUSQUO respectively.

First human space mission that landed with pilot still in spacecraft and thus the first complete human spaceflight by then FAI definitions.

Relevant discussion links:

Arguments for the retention of the information from the articles concerns about the need to uphold WP:DUE and WP:NPOV, particularly given that "distinction matters" and risks of WP:POVDELETION and WP:POVFUNNEL in the event of removal, the latter detailed within Wikipedia:NPOV_tutorial#Space_and_balance. Besides longstanding WP:SILENTCONSENSUS for the retention in pages before disputes were raised and in the context of the current international situation (WP:IRL) and the consideration of WP:READERS, this issue is considered as an etymological question rather than scientific question, apart from the need to keep articles interesting for readers. In spite of being an off-topic at a glance, possibilities of being a MacGuffin were raised. In the case of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH, exceptions such as 1, 2, and 3 may apply, while WP:BLUESKY may be of relevance. WP:WORLDVIEW issues may arise for readers in US and other Western countries if omitted and comparisons to the Claims to the first powered flight were made.

Arguments for the removal of the information from the articles concerns about the need to fix WP:FALSEBALANCE on the grounds of WP:FRINGE, WP:MINORASPECT and WP:DUEWEIGHT, not to mention "out of topic". Besides that the fact that FAI recognized Gagarin's records after the revelation of Vostok 1 landing phase and the body itself does not make specifically determinations regarding the "firsts" distinctions. Furthermore, the passage may fall afoul of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH since the sources doesn't explicitly concur to the former as listed above in terms of wording. The Seeker article within the references was considered as WP:RS per WP:REDFLAG due to "contradictions with secondary coverages in NYT and primary documents from FAI". Semantical aspects are said to be a mere red herring and comparisons to "1st in-flight public TV from Vostok 3 and 4" were made. As described in the first discussion, and although not specifically implied in the subsequent discussions, WP:WORLDVIEW issues may arise for readers in Russia and other former Soviet countries if preserved.

Middle ground solutions that were proposed included the relegation of the information into NoteTag footnote, as exemplified in this diff of Timeline of space travel by nationality, creation of FAQ sections or templates as displayed here and here onto the talkspace of the articles or within Wikipedia:WikiProject_Spaceflight/Timeline_of_spaceflight_working_group, addition of citations that briefly describe the issue in a well round manner (such as this BBC Chinese article) and rewrite of the passage into a balanced tone. Furthermore, a proposal to perform forking of selected unambiguously common/standard contents into Simple English Wikipedia was briefly raised.

Any thoughts or proposals regarding this matter are welcome. (talk) 12:36, 20 July 2022 (UTC)

At the moment I'd still prefer this RFC to be edited further and posted by uninvolved third parties in order to be more impartial in overall. (talk) 13:17, 20 July 2022 (UTC)
Update: I had engaged in brief and informal consultations and feedbacks from a particular subject matter expert on spaceflight topics who's also a de-facto lead editor in these fields within Wikipedia, which allows inching closer to an amicable resolution. As described here, a last minute solution was put up following his recommendations and an ad-hoc request had been delivered to the aforementioned subject matter expert requesting feedback and/or assessment which will be judged as a final say in the matter, at least for now. If the "final say" did occur an amicable resolution is reached then the submission of the RFC can be halted and cancelled. (talk) 15:24, 21 July 2022 (UTC)

Removal of my rfc publicizing from noticeboard

On 15 August 2022, I posted a request for input in the Dispute resolution noticeboard, including the reason why I posted, linking to the instructions that indicated so. "To get more input, you may publicize the RfC by posting a notice at one or more of the following locations: [...] Noticeboards such as point-of-view noticeboard, reliable source noticeboard, or original research noticeboard" [emphasis mine].

Given that my RFC was about a dispute with another editor, I decided to publicize it in this dispute resolution noticeboard. An editor, User:Nightenbelle, made a revert, writing in the summary and indicating so in my talk page that "This is not the right place". I don't understand their objection. If the instructions in the RFC told me that I could publicize in a noticeboard, being it the relevant noticeboard, then it seemed to be the indicated place to post.

The editor wrote in my talk page, "we are where arguments come when they can't be solved by an RFC". But wouldn't this logic also apply to the other noticeboards, rendering the RFC instruction redundant? If I had an issue about reliable sources, started an RFC, I would publicize it in the reliable sources noticeboard. Then Nightenbelle's logic would apply in a similar way. An editor would balk per the instructions in said noticeboard that state "Links to past discussion of the source on this board." Given that there was no past discussion and I was only publicizing, wouldn't they instruct me to come back after there was a discussion? Maybe the instruction in the RFC page is indeed redundant regarding noticeboards? Thinker78 (talk) 19:44, 15 August 2022 (UTC)

There are noticeboards that exist to bring more editors into a discussion- IE- the noticeboards listed at the RFC site. The DRN is a place for mediated discussions only- we are not an advertisement board. Just like you wouldn't go to the administrator's noticeboard to advertise an RFC either. Some noticeboards exist for a sole purpose, DRN is one of those. We exist ONLY to mediate disputes. Not as a billboard, not as a place for general discussion, Only to mediate content disputes. We can't even mediate member disagreements- content only. I'm sorry I was not more clear on your talk page- I hope this provides more clarity. Nightenbelle (talk) 19:52, 15 August 2022 (UTC)
I will make a slight correction to what User:Nightenbelle wrote in removing your post. What she meant is that "we (DRN) are where content disputes come when they are not being solved by an RFC (because they are being worked by mediation)". As she said, we exist only to mediate content disputes. Sometimes a dispute at DRN is then resolved by RFC, either if mediation fails or if additional input is wanted. Your dispute is being resolved by an RFC, and not by mediation. If you want to publicize your RFC, you may, and are encouraged to do so, at WikiProjects. Maybe this will clarify why she removed your post. Robert McClenon (talk) 20:46, 15 August 2022 (UTC)

Need help with question phrasing


so I am going to start a RfC on July–August 2022 United States floods as a result of this discussion, which should somehow ask whether or not to include the "global warming citations". I know what we (hitherto Blythwood, United States Man and myself) were discussing, but I am not sure how to best phrase the question for RfC. I want to ask whether we should include the sentences about a connection to climate change (which were added and removed previously, stopping just short of an edit war), as reported by some sources. This either just in the text as previously, or in my preference, as a separate section titled "causes" (so less extreme than in 2021 European floods currently), which would include some more immediate reasons for the flooding as well. But that is already a bit too complicated for a simple question... so, any pointers? -- LordPeterII (talk) 15:57, 21 August 2022 (UTC)

LordPeterII, it sounds like you are looking for ideas/suggestions for the article, rather than a very specific, narrow "Accept or reject X". Is that right? Or are you all still trying to settle whether climate change should be mentioned at all in the article? WhatamIdoing (talk) 18:41, 25 August 2022 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: Whether it should be mentioned at all. United States Man removed the information, and opposes re-adding it stating it was misleading, biased, unnecessary. There is no consensus on the talk page, but only three people (including me) were discussing. So I guess you already helped me narrow it down to a "Climate Change mention yes or no" question. If you could also give a suggestion on how to phrase that as neutral as possible, I'd appreciate it, but yeah you already helped :) --LordPeterII (talk) 21:44, 25 August 2022 (UTC)
A typical way to write this might say something like "Climate change is mentioned in connection with these events in sources, such as [link][link][link]. Climate change is not mentioned in other sources, such as [link][link]. Should this article mention climate change at all?"
I'm assuming here that there are sources that give other explanations. This format is useful if you have sources that say "These floods were made worse by climate change; bad infrastructure management doesn't cause buckets of rain to fall out of the sky" and others saying "This isn't really about climate change, because the rainfall was normal. The real problem is the Army Corps of Engineers' belief that they can 'tame' the Mississippi River". If you don't have any sources that mention causes without mentioning climate change (either for or against), then the second sentence might need to be removed.
Giraffedata, Blueboar, anyone else: Do you have any other suggestions for him? WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:45, 25 August 2022 (UTC)
I don't think whether other sources don't mention climate change is relevant, since surely there are plenty of sources that don't because cause is not their angle. So it doesn't tell anyone anything. I don't think it's relevant whether other sources cite other causes, since the question isn't whether to say climate change is the only cause; just whether to say it is a contributor (i.e. to mention it at all). In fact, even if there are reliable sources that say purported climate change has no effect on flooding, it probably would not change anyone's answer to this question -- it would just make someone want to include the opposing view as well.
So this is how I would word it: "Some sources say climate change makes floods like these more likely. Should this information be included in this article?"
Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 23:42, 25 August 2022 (UTC)
  • I would break it down into two sections: 1) should we mention it at all? and 2) IF the answer to the first question is “yes”, then how should we do so? Blueboar (talk) 12:41, 26 August 2022 (UTC)
Thanks to all of you! I think I will go with a simple question as suggested by Giraffedata. If and only if that RfC ends affirmative, I will discuss the second part of the question of "how". Good to know asking a two-part question is possible, but I want to keep my first RfC simple and also not sound too confident by already giving a follow-up (might be a good choice in other scenarios though). --LordPeterII (talk) 21:50, 26 August 2022 (UTC)

Inquiry About Long-Running RFC

Maybe I should have asked about this a week ago. There is an RFC at Talk:Flag of Antarctica that appears to have originally been posted on or before 20 July 2022. My question was why the RFC is still or again active, rather than having been closed, since it is more than 30 days old. I see that Legobot added an RFC ID on 20 July. Then on 19 August, Legobot removed an expired RFC ID, which is what I would expect. Then on 21 August, Legobot both adds an RFC ID and removes an RFC template. Late on 21 August, Legobot again adds an RFC ID. On 28 August, User:Redrose64 made an edit with an edit summary saying to stop churning the RFC ID. So I think that my question is whether the RFC was extended questionably, and whether the RFC ID should be removed by a human now because the RFC has been running for more than 40 days, and formal closure should be requested. Robert McClenon (talk) 23:53, 31 August 2022 (UTC)

There is no 30 day limit on RfCs. 30 days is just when an RfC ends automatically if no one acts to make it end before or after that. In this case, it looks like someone decided after the RfC ended automatically that it was too early and restarted the RfC, but did it incorrectly by making it look like a whole new RfC.
An RfC should end when it does not appear that any more comment is needed.
Someone should request a discussion closed when it is clear that no further discussion would be useful.
Terminology: an RfC is a discussion with wide solicitation to participate, which happens by virtue of an RfC tag within the discussion. An RfC ends when that solicitation ends (because that tag is removed). A discussion gets closed when the discussion is essentially over. A discussion need not be part of an RfC to get closed. With an RfC, people should usually try to have the RfC end and the discussion close at the same time. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:36, 1 September 2022 (UTC)
If somebody extends an RfC by reinstating the {{rfc}} tag, they must also add a fresh timestamp (as explained at WP:RFC#Duration) and should ensure that the original |rfcid= parameter is also reinstated. If this is not done, Legobot will issue a new rfcid and this will cause the RfC to be treated as if it were entirely new, so WP:FRS subscribers may be double-notified. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 17:42, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

Do I need to start another RfC?


the first RfC I asked for help with above turned out to be something of a success; by which I don't mean "my side is winning", but rather that it happened smootly, and gave fresh input to a stale discussion. That it currently has more support votes than oppose is ofc a good thing for me, although some editors very vocally questioned the neccessity of it, declaring instead that it should never have been held since the opposing side was clearly in the wrong.

Now, I don't want to discuss that since it turned out alright, but instead I want to ask whether I should start yet another RfC: The discussion here Talk:2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine#Peace efforts is going in circles, and I am not convinced by the opposing side's arguments (basically "Wikipedia should not have duplicate information"). And additionally, there is already a 4 to 2 majority in favour of re-addition of the paragraph under discussion. I am not keen on declaring this a "win" and end up starting an edit war, but I am also not keen to start yet another time-consuming RfC on a dicussion where one side didn't even reply to the points brought forth by the other side.

So, my question: Is there an easier way to solve this? Or do I have to start another RfC, titled "Should this article have a short 'Peace efforts' section with a link to the main article?" (like it used to have for months, till two editors decided it was not needed anymore). –LordPickleII (talk) 18:52, 5 September 2022 (UTC)

With 4:2 in favour of adding, I don't think a RfC is necessary, and the section can be re-added to the article. If the WP:AfD argument is once more used to have it removed, one can point the concerned editors to WP:SUMMARY and the numerous instances where articles have sections with summaries of the subtopic's articles. IntrepidContributor (talk) 06:25, 6 September 2022 (UTC)
@IntrepidContributor: As you are part of that "4:2", I'd like to hear it confirmed by an uninvoled editor ;) But thanks, and yes I agree the opposing arguments are not convincing, and I'm annoyed that the arguments from our side (like what you pointed out above) have been simply ignored or discarded. Something along the lines of "Yes your argument isn't valid, because I think [insert my own previous unrelated argument]", which sounds like a fallacy. I just really don't want to get into a fight there (and I think the other editors truly mean well, they just seem to think we don't), and previous attempts at simply re-adding the content have always been met with reverts. –LordPickleII (talk) 08:59, 6 September 2022 (UTC)
Support of Slatersteven, who is making perfectly good sense. Also, Wikipedia is not a forum for polling or voting. Establishing consensus is not a tally of votes. ErnestKrause (talk) 14:13, 6 September 2022 (UTC)
Folks I am not trying to bring the discussion over here, I am asking for external input on whether or not not hold a RfC. Let's keep the content discussion on the appropriate talk page. –LordPickleII (talk) 21:23, 6 September 2022 (UTC)
First of all, Wikipedia content decisions aren't made by majority rule, they're made by consensus, and 4:2 is not enough, in my opinion, to declare consensus based on the number alone. On the other hand, if the 2 aren't really participating in the debate, this could represent consensus. You could ask for closure by an uninvolved editor of the current discussion (when a discussion is going in circles is a good time to close one) and if the closer finds consensus, you're done. If instead the closer says there is no consensus, then an RfC is the right way to proceed.
Often, the minority in small poll like this does not concede consensus, believing the majority in the poll are not a representative sample of the Wikipedia community and actual community consensus is with the minority. An RfC can resolve that. But where one side is simply saying, "My mind is made up; don't confuse me with the facts", an RfC isn't going to help.
Sometimes, a participant doesn't even bother with the close by uninvolved party and just posts, "Since no rebuttals have been offered to the pro arguments, it seems to me consensus is pro," and then edits the article accordingly. And no one changes it back.
I've even seen such a participant close the discussion himself, stating, essentially, "Since I'm so obviously right, there's no point in discussing this any further." I for one find that unacceptable. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 05:44, 7 September 2022 (UTC)

Volunteer time is precious. Wikipedia has everything else:- massive amounts of server space, which is fully funded for the foreseeable future; a stable set of stable policies and rules which aren't perfect but enable us to work; libraries full of information we could add. Volunteer time is the resource that limits our rate of growth. RfCs do eat up a lot of volunteer time, so if you aren't sure, consider maybe not starting one? There is some support, but not yet consensus, for a hard limit on the number of RfCs that one editor can have open at once.—S Marshall T/C 22:09, 6 September 2022 (UTC)

@Giraffedata and S Marshall: Thank you for your input. I agree about it eating up time, that's one of the reasons why I didn't want to do one: It is eating up my time as well. It is unfortunate we couldn't reach consensus yet, because unlike in the other article, all editors here actually seem to truly care about the issue and wanting to do the "right thing", not push their personal view. It's just that we can't agree on what the "right thing" is.
Anyway, there have been new developments which lead me to postpone any RfC plans: Some previously uninvolved editors have re-added a "Peace" section which has different content, without consulting the discussion first. We might have enough participants now, and a fresh acute issue to deal with. –LordPickleII (talk) 10:12, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
Note. If you are interested in the long-term editing of the article there, then I might be able to put an option on the table to move things forward; there is a backlog of items that need to be addressed in the article and if you would like, then I could share the list of items which need to be addressed with you and your co-editor at that article. This is only done under AGF by myself, and if you prefer to continue with the discussion on the Talk page (two discussions now) then you may continue to do that. Its really up to you since I'm only suggesting this if I can assume good faith. ErnestKrause (talk) 12:09, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
@ErnestKrause: Thank you for the suggestion (although I am a little unsure how this relates to the issue at hand?). I do care about the article, but am afraid my time is limited, and my attention already spread thin between several active areas. I am glad that there are people who keep it in good shape, and am sorry to be thus keeping you from more constructive work. But I believe a discussion is the only way to end this edit war (in which I play no active part). –LordPickleII (talk) 14:11, 7 September 2022 (UTC)
As there is an impasse, I see no other way out. Slatersteven (talk) 10:03, 8 September 2022 (UTC)
Update: They've started an RFC. With luck, they'll reach a decision. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:19, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

Starting new RfC with old conversation

Hey, y'all, I started a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Classical music#Lists of Repertoire/Compositions on Wikipedia to help figure out if consensus is leaning toward or against such lists! In the closing comments for Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Flute repertoire, Liz recomended it be turned into a proper RfC (of which I have never started). My question is: is there a proper way to turn an ongoing discussion into an RfC or does it need to be restarted? Why? I Ask (talk) 22:02, 17 September 2022 (UTC)

@Why? I Ask: The quickest way is to insert {{rfc|soc}} at the top of the section. Ensure that everything before the first timestamp is neutral, per WP:RFCNEUTRAL. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 16:51, 18 September 2022 (UTC)

Are Request for Comments meant to be neutral

Are Request for Comments meant to be introduced with atleast an attempt at neutrality? An RFC recently opened at a time when many editors will be distracted with events taking place has been opened by an editor and introduced with an extremely misleading and one sided opening which is intentionally aimed at getting the outcome the editor wants. It makes no attempt at all to set out the reasoning for the current wording in a balanced way. This biased opening to an RFC is extremely misleading and is designed to change a consensus that has existed for many years on an article. How is that fair or reasonable? Such a disgracefully biased RFC should be closed with a more neutral opening explanation used. RWB2020 (talk) 03:06, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

The RFC-in-question is both neutral & proper. Either it'll result in the UK's description being changed or it won't. Therefore, there's no concerns. GoodDay (talk) 16:14, 14 September 2022 (UTC)

@RWB2020, I think this is your first post here, so welcome! This is the best place to ask questions like this.
The RFC "question" in this case says "Should the current definition of the UK as a 'sovereign country' be changed? Alternative options include country and state." RFC questions are displayed on pages such as Wikipedia:Requests for comment/Politics, government, and law.
I assume that what you are concerned about is the first comment from an editor (who happens to be the editor who started the RFC), rather than the question itself. There are no requirements that anything except the actual RFC question be neutral and brief. This means that editors, including you, are allowed to post one-sided comments, exactly like you would in any other talk-page discussion.
To address another possible concern, at this moment, articles related to the UK are under more than the usual level of scrutiny, so this is probably one of the best times to get widespread input on a question like this. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:36, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
  • I think that (as someone else suggested there) the first comment - the one by the RFC's creator - should probably be moved to under the "Survey" header. They correctly separated their opinions out into a comment and included a neutral summary first, but somehow their comment ended up above the survey line rather than below it (perhaps the survey header was added later and put in the wrong place.) The purpose of a neutral description is to avoid giving the RFC creator's perspective more weight than others, and putting it above the survey sort of goes against that. It is not a huge deal, but moving the comment to the right place wouldn't be a huge deal, either. --Aquillion (talk) 04:52, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for the responses. The fact the opinion was stated there in the first section is exactly one the reasons i believe the RFC is so flawed. I see it all as part of the RFC and it gives that opinion prominence. An opinion which has been there for several days when many responses were made in support of one outcome, and when some may have viewed that whole section as the RFC, not an RFC and then someone's survey post in the wrong place. So the RFC has already been tainted by that. But even if we just take the opening sentence of the RFC. Is that really neutral and appropriate? It fails to set any background or context (which yes should be done in a neutral way), it doesnt link to past discussions. And crucially, its proposing a change and lists just two options. The two options the editor that opened the RFC has in a comment yesterday said they believe to be the only two sensible options, even though there are clearly others. Surely by mentioning the two alternatives they prefer, that is biased and leading?
This current RFC is an attempt just to get the current wording changed which has been stable for many years. Rather than an attempt to get a wider contribution of editors to provide insights and opinions into the issue, the RFC doesnt set out the problem or context. Just sets out what the editor wanted to be changed. There was an extensive discussion taking place on this issue on the talk page, at the time a few editors suggested a RFC. I requested at the time if we do an RFC we should first try to agree the wording, to ensure it is neutral. But the RFC was rushed ahead with, without any further preparation, and at a time when many editors were going to be distracted with real world issues currently taking place so not checking wikipedia as much. The outcome of this flawed RFC shouldnt just be used to force through a change to the wording. RWB2020 (talk) 11:25, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
So, the thing is that an RFC that just sets out what the editor wanted to be changed is actually the ideal RFC - that's what a neutral RFC opening statement is supposed to be. Sometimes if there's a trivially obvious and completely uncontested reason why the change is being suggested, it might be mentioned in the opening statement, but it can rapidly get dicey because beyond a certain point, providing reasons why a change should happen turns into arguing for a change. (eg. "should we change this text to reflect what all the reliable sources say" is non-neutral because it begs the question of whether all the reliable sources actually say that - which would be what an RFC is actually needed to answer.) The solution is that editors should provide a very brief summary of the proposed change or options at the top, and then use their comments to argue for why those changes should or should not happen. This also means that anyone else can add their comments to elaborate on it in one way or the other. The background and context you're asking for are usually going to be non-neutral (since the crux of the discussion is going to be which option they support), so they're better handled in the comments. --Aquillion (talk) 12:17, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
And, of course, it depends on all the facts and circumstances. Sometimes you need a background section (where else do you link to all of the previous discussions?). Sometimes even the most strenuous attempt to describe uncontested facts can't be the "even-Steven" kind of neutral to all sides, because even-handedness doesn't align with reality (consider the RFCs whose sole purpose is to convince a single POV warrior that literally everyone else disagrees).
I read through this section again tonight, and my overall impression from it is that an editor is deeply concerned that the RFC will have the wrong outcome, and in an effort to prevent a bad result, is throwing out as many bureaucratic objections as possible, in the hope that something will stick. That's not really how RFCs work. We need them to be brief enough that they don't screw up the listings pages. We need them to be neutral enough that editors can figure out what the real/underlying question is. Our rules are about the plain old, everyday practicalities of asking people to comment on a subject they might not know very much about. For example, it's not important if the OP listed "only" the two options that seemed sensible. We are not going to have a rule that says you have to list all options. We aren't going to have such a rule because (a) we actively don't want editors to propose alternatives that they believe are nonsensical and (b) listing a couple of options can't stop our editors from suggesting alternatives that they believe are significantly superior to the suggested ones.
(Maybe I'll really start that FAQ I've been threatening for years.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:41, 21 September 2022 (UTC)
  • Hi everyone. I am the originator of the RfC in question. As per comments here and a request at the talk page itself, I have moved my opening comment to the survey section. Angry Candy (talk) 12:10, 15 September 2022 (UTC)

Competing RFCs on the same article, about the same topic

A (what appears to be) competing RFC has been opened at the List of dignitaries at the state funeral of Elizabeth II's article. IMHO, it's creating confusion & its question is a tad incoherrant. I think the second ongoing RFC, should be shut down. GoodDay (talk) 20:16, 23 September 2022 (UTC)

It was improperly tagged, as well - the |rfcid=E4DA335 param was copied from another RfC, something that must never be done - it breaks inward links, corrupts the RfC listings and causes false notifications to be sent out. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:06, 24 September 2022 (UTC)
I've closed the RfC mentioned by GoodDay, and S Marshall closed a second one by the same user. Isabelle 🏳‍🌈 23:33, 24 September 2022 (UTC)

Having more problems. Now it's how to read S Marshall's immediate closing of one of the RFC. GoodDay (talk) 02:28, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

@CandyStalnak:, pinging you 'here', as you are the individual who began the 'two' RFCs, that have since been shutdown. GoodDay (talk) 02:36, 27 September 2022 (UTC)

Not sure what this new discussion is about. But it appears to be trying to undermine an ongoing RFC being held at talkpage. GoodDay (talk) 21:54, 28 September 2022 (UTC)

RfC closures after archiving

There's a thread at WP:RSN which surprised me. It [partially] involves an RfC which was archived, and then closed inside the archive. This strikes me as bad practice for the simple reason that none of the participants will be aware of the closure. Ideally, discussions which need closure will just have archiving delayed via {{DNAU}}, but if one does sneak by, it should really be unarchived before closing (or, at minimum, the closer should post a note to the original venue with a pointer to the archive). I'd like to propose including something to this effect in the guideline (or maybe it goes at WP:ACD?). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 10:55, 11 September 2022 (UTC)

Unarchiving to immediately close the discussion seems like needless busywork (as opposed to someone unarchiving a discussion because they feel someone else should close it, which is entirely fine). I like the idea of creating a new topic in the original noticeboard or talk page it was archived from with a simple title (eg., "Closure of archived discussion XYZ"). Isabelle 🏳‍🌈 15:23, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
I agree with Isabelle. Andre🚐 21:20, 12 September 2022 (UTC)
I'm concerned about this on two levels. First, my understanding is archives should never have content related edits. The archive is meant to be a record of what was said on the noticeboards/talk pages. This applies across the board, not just to RfC closings. Second, in the case of a RfC or other closing, closing within the archive means editors may miss the closing. I don't think a note that "I closed X in the archive" is sufficient because it doesn't allow editors to reasonably see the prior discussion or evaluate the close with respect to the discussion. This also ensures what is archived is what was actually discussed on the noticeboard. I don't think the added effort is too much to ask when editors are expected to abide by the closer's reading of consensus. Springee (talk) 17:08, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
This touches on a larger matter, which is that it's needlessly hard to find closed RfCs on a given subject. Relevant RfCs could be in mainspace talk page archives, on policy/guideline/essay talk pages or even Wikiproject talk pages. RfCs could happen on separate subpages and be indexed and archived like AfDs, but still linked from the affected articles' talk pages through the magic of transclusion. But we don't do that, and I don't know why not.—S Marshall T/C 19:37, 11 September 2022 (UTC)
I believe we did used to put certain RFCs on their own subpages at one point. Perhaps it was only the user RFCs. Maybe we should start doing that again. Andre🚐 21:21, 12 September 2022 (UTC)
RFCs are on separate pages if they're expected to be large enough to disrupt the target page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:20, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
@Andrevan: Indeed, there's one in progress right now. But many RfCs are unsuitable for dedicated pages - a disappointing amount of RfCs are raised for trivial matters, often where it is clear that WP:RFCBEFORE was ignored. Requiring dedicated pages for these would be counterproductive. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:51, 17 September 2022 (UTC)
Content of an archive should never be modified. A discussion in an archive is closed (which means no further discussion is allowed) just by being in the archive.
I'm not familiar with unarchiving, but it sounds like one right way to handle it. I also like Isabelle's suggestion.
But any rules about this belong somewhere other than WP:Requests for comment. You don't close an RfC. You close a discussion. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:55, 12 September 2022 (UTC)
The distinction seems semantic. RFC refers to the posting but also refers to the production of the discussion and the discussion itself, or in the case of technical RFCs, a technical specification itself produced by the working group that puts it out for comment. But in Wiki parlance, the RFC is the whole shebang as well as the initial act of posting and the initial post itself. At least that is my descriptive observation of how it is typically used in current-day. Andre🚐 21:23, 12 September 2022 (UTC)
You're right. The distinction is semantic and people say "close the RfC" a lot. That doesn't mean it's not a useful distinction and that people should do that. Such sloppiness is destructive, as we see frequently on this page, where people are confused about the relationship between and RfC and a discussion, between ending an RfC and closing a discussion, where to find information about conducting RfC discussions, and so on. It is best for us to consistently use the terminology defined in WP:Requests for comment. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 03:33, 13 September 2022 (UTC)
I agree that rules about this belong somewhere other than WP:Requests for comment. I suggested deep in the WP:RSN thread that the appropriate place would be WP:TALK. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 17:00, 18 September 2022 (UTC)
I like the idea of unarchiving and closing, and I also like the idea of creating a new topic to note the closure. I would be fine with guidance suggesting that closers do either one. I imagine this being at WP:Closing discussions, as it could/should apply to more than just RfCs. Of archived discussions, the main requests for closure that I've seen have been RfCs and requests for administrator action at AN or ANI. Whatever we eventually decide on, it might be nice to echo the guidance at multiple locations. Firefangledfeathers (talk / contribs) 03:42, 14 September 2022 (UTC)
Unarchiving is the usual approach, whenever someone finds it necessary to post a summary statement. Keeping WP:NOTBURO in mind, when a summary has been added directly to an archive page, it has never yet signaled the end of the world, so I doubt that it will in the future. This is very unusual, but not actually banned. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:22, 15 September 2022 (UTC)
Legobot sets a DNAU expiring after five weeks (example), so that (subject to archive bot configutation settings yielding a linger interval) the thread becomes eligible for archiving five days after the normal removel of the {{rfc}} tag. If people aren't doing anything about closure within those five days, maybe they don't care about the outcome. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 17:29, 18 September 2022 (UTC)

I have WP:Boldly created a new section WP:Closing_discussions#Discussions_in_Talk_archives. I will paste it here for convenience:

Most discussions go into Talk page archives with no need for closure. However sometimes an active issue will be prematurely archived while waiting for closure. The recommended procedure at WP:PREMATUREARCHIVE is to copy-paste the discussion back onto the original page and delete the discussion from the Talk archive. The discussion may then be closed as normal. This enures that the closure will be highly visible to all editors active at that page.

I also created the WP:PREMATUREARCHIVE shortcut in the process. It points to WT:Talk_page_guidelines#Archiving, which already contained instructions on how to handle discussions that were archived prematurely. I hope and believe this will be broadly accepted as accurately reflecting existing best practices. For the record, I have preformed a number of closures on discussions that had been prematurely archived. I have always always believed this was the proper and expected procedure.

Regarding a closure that had been preformed in the archive, I would consider that an extremely poor practice. I wouldn't freak out over it, but I would strongly discourage it. Silently closing a discussion, with little chance it would be seen, would be rather unhelpful. I would say that a Talk page notification and link to the archived-closure would be an absolute minimum to ensure the relevant people know about the closure. However that could lead to a real mess if editors need to discuss how to follow through on the outcome, or if the closure itself ever needs revision. The more I think about it, the more tempted I am to upgrade the "recommended" procedure above into a direct statement on what to do. Alsee (talk) 14:23, 2 October 2022 (UTC)

I support this FWIW. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:37, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
I do not support this. Re "Most discussions go into Talk page archives with no need for closure." -- actually the discussion is effectively closed by archiving so it makes no sense to says there's no need. Re "However sometimes an active issue will be prematurely archived while waiting for closure." -- this leaves it open to anybody to decide that any action was "premature" so it can be erased from the archive. Re "Regarding a closure that had been preformed in the archive" -- I can't make out what preformed is supposed to mean in this context. Re your edit summary "... I believe this WP:Bold addition will be broadly accepted." WP:CLOSE is not a guideline so I'm not objecting about being bold rather than going with WP:TALKFIRST but it is a substantive change, it didn't go to the most relevant talk page, and I hope it will not be accepted. Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:13, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
"preformed" is a typo for "performed". --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:34, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
this leaves it open to anybody to decide that any action was "premature" so it can be erased from the archive - Anyone can do this already, right?
the discussion is effectively closed by archiving - That is the goal here -- for archiving to be the end of that discussion (and if the discussion needs to continue, it shouldn't be in the archive). What this aims to prevent is someone continuing to add to an already-archived discussion by introducing an actionable formal closing statement in the archive (among other things). — Rhododendrites talk \\ 17:06, 2 October 2022 (UTC)
Saying it can already happen is not the same as advising to do it. And the proper wording is not "the discussion needs to continue" since erasing is not a form of continuing. I have referenced past archived conversations with the expectation that the links might survive. Who supports Alsee's edit of WP:CLOSE and subsequent edit of WP:TALK? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 15:22, 3 October 2022 (UTC)
I think it might be useful here for everyone to review that box with the terminology in WP:RFCEND, especially the item that says:
Closing the discussion
Someone lists conclusions (if any) and discourages further discussion. Some editors make a distinction between "closing" a discussion (discouraging further discussion, usually with the {{closed rfc top}} template pair) and "summarizing" a discussion (naming outcomes). Neither "closing" nor "summarizing" are required.
As Peter notes, archiving automatically "closes" the discussion. Archiving is one of the most effective forms of discouraging further discussion we have. If you want the discussion "closed", then an archiving bot will do that for you.
However, if you mean that you want the discussion "summarized" – something that's only needed in a minority of RFCs, something that cannot be achieved by mechanically archiving it – then it is obviously preferable not to do that on an archive page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:10, 6 October 2022 (UTC)
WhatamIdoing: so do you support or oppose or are neutral about Alsee's edits? Peter Gulutzan (talk) 13:50, 11 October 2022 (UTC)
I've copyedited it to use more precise language (e.g., "summarizing" rather than "closing"). It's okay. WhatamIdoing (talk) 16:39, 11 October 2022 (UTC)

Can you add an article topic to an ongoing RfC?

I've just noticed that an RfC that was started today, that is actually about geography, was opened as a Wikipedia policies and guidelines discussion. Is there any way to add it to the History and Geography topic area once it has an RfC ID? Scolaire (talk) 22:24, 15 October 2022 (UTC)

@Scolaire: Adding an RfC category is as easy as this - when Legobot next runs (00:01, 16 October 2022 (UTC)), it will add the RfC to WP:RFC/HIST. You merely need to make sure that that the new category goes before the |rfcid= parameter, because Legobot won't look for categories after that param. Removing an RfC category, however, is much more difficult. If you remove it from the {{rfc}} tag, Legobot will ignore the removal and continue to list the RfC in the removed category's page. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:20, 15 October 2022 (UTC)
Thanks for that, Redrose. I don't mind leaving it in the other category. Scolaire (talk) 11:31, 16 October 2022 (UTC)

Is an RfC the appropriate tool for discussing a proposed change that would affect many articles?

I've come to the conclusion that Wikipedia currently doesn't provide correct NPOV information about Russia's status at the UN as inherited from the Soviet Union. This affects quite a number of articles and is a topic of current political interest that might turn out to be controversial, so I don't want to boldly go and change all those articles without first hearing the views of other editors (and anyway I'm not entirely sure what the best solution would be). How and where should I seek discussion on this? Just writing a comment on the talk page of one of these articles doesn't seem suitable, because many articles are affected but also because I doubt it would elicit sufficient discussion quickly enough. I was thinking of starting an RfC, but I'm not sure whether that's appropriate since there's no dispute yet. Joriki (talk) 22:05, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

Before starting an RfC, please read WP:RFCBEFORE, where you will find that a non-RfC discussion is the way to go. If it affects more than one article then the talk page of one specific article is certainly not appropriate. Do all of them fall within the same WikiProject? If so, the talk page of that WikiProject may be suitable. Alternatively, perhaps WP:VPM. You could neave a note at Wikipedia:Neutral point of view/Noticeboard directing them to the discussion. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:19, 23 October 2022 (UTC)

An RfC was archived before being closed

Greetings, so again I have seen some issue with archiving, and am unsure how to proceed: A RfC on the highly visible 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine article, about the potential inclusion of a "peace efforts" section, was archived and is now located at Talk:2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine/Archive 10#RfC about inclusion of "Peace efforts" section. The RfC has not been closed or anything, and the last reply was made at 20 October, so less than a week ago. Why wasn't it protected against automatic archiving, and what should I do about it now? I certainly believe it needs to be closed properly, but I haven't worked much with archives and don't know if I can just manually copy it out of there without breaking something. Can you guys help? –LordPeterII (talk) 18:24, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

It's not all that uncommon for an RfC not to be formally closed, especially if the outcome is relatively clear without such a closure. That said, you can always request one, at WP:ANRFC. Just point toward the archived discussion there; whoever does the closing can decide the best way to announce the result. Seraphimblade Talk to me 18:41, 29 October 2022 (UTC)
Also, the thread was protected against automatic archiving, the code
<!-- [[User:DoNotArchiveUntil]] 12:01, 14 October 2022 (UTC) -->{{User:ClueBot III/DoNotArchiveUntil|1665748884}}
being added in this edit. That date is now long past. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 18:47, 29 October 2022 (UTC)

In the news section on Main Page?

I am currently involved in a discussion on Wikipedia:In the news/Candidates, and considered making an RfC on it to attract input from other contributors. I checked WP:RFCNOT to see if it would be inappropriate to create an RfC for a matter pertaining to the "In the news" section, but I don't see it listed. Would it be inappropriate? If so, can WP:RFCNOT be updated to reflect this? —Matthew - (talk) 01:02, 10 November 2022 (UTC)

Yes, it would be disruptive. You can ping (within the context of CANVAS) interested wikiprojects but we don't use RFCs on ITN, given that items have to be decided in a week, not 30 days that an RFC gives. Masem (t) 01:10, 10 November 2022 (UTC)
RFCs are not required to stay open for 30 days. They are allowed to end much sooner, and to stay open much longer. Opening an RFC for a week-long discussion is not inherently disruptive. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:22, 19 November 2022 (UTC)
If the discussion is a general one about the ITN process (perhaps a reform has been suggested), an RfC would be permitted after WP:RFCBEFORE has been exhausted. But for discussing specific entries (in this case 2022 Haitian crisis), a RfC is not appropriate. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:59, 10 November 2022 (UTC)

Whether to add RFC for merger or redirect proposals

Per WP:RFCNOT, RFC isn't supposed to be used for merger proposals. However, I get frustrated by very low participation of merger discussions, and I'm unsure whether notifying WikiProjects suffices and whether RFC is unnecessary. I want to think that adding an RFC tag is allowed, but RFCNOT apparently insists that regular discussion (per WP:merging) suffices. George Ho (talk) 00:07, 31 October 2022 (UTC)

Ther point is that RfC is not for advertising discussions that have their own specific procedures. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:40, 31 October 2022 (UTC)
I see. Still, an under-participated merger discussion is frustrating and agonizing. Furthermore, ending the discussion with "no consensus" when there have been one or two participants makes me wonder whether I should've used the RFC tag in the first place. If RFC tag is unnecessary, then why low participation? Must I re-discuss the low participation issue at WT:Merging instead? George Ho (talk) 20:26, 2 November 2022 (UTC)
Why is it frustrating and agonizing? If a couple of people show up, and you all agree, then you have consensus to merge the pages. If a couple of people show up and don't agree, then you don't.
"No consensus" in that case has the same effect as someone saying "Do not merge these pages". (Many neurotypical people think that "no consensus" is a friendlier way to say "No!", because it's more indirect. They sacrifice clarity in the effort to be gentle.) WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 3 November 2022 (UTC)
There is a better explanation for why a closer says "no consensus" instead of "no". It's because the closer's job, like with an RfC, is to summarize the discussion, not to issue a ruling on the proposal. "No" or "Do not merge these pages" would be inappropriate wording for any result.
Besides, I don't see in WP:Merging that lack of consensus means the article shouldn't be merged. In fact, it's clear that one can merge without ever discussing the merge (like with things arbitrated by RfC). Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 16:00, 5 November 2022 (UTC)
That might be a better reason, but I don't think it is necessarily the common reason in the scenarios I'm thinking of.
Also, in your scenario, when there is a clear consensus is that the merge proposal was a very bad idea, then a summary that reflects the strength of the views in the discussion would be appropriate, even though representing that accurately would mean writing "No" or "Do not merge these pages" in the summary. Consider the case of a merge proposal that involves two articles that sound similar, but are importantly separate subjects. You don't want future editors to think that editors failed to agree; you want them to know that editors firmly rejected the proposal. WhatamIdoing (talk) 03:28, 19 November 2022 (UTC)
I had an RFC on a guideline(!) open for a full month and received exactly one (1) comment the entire time. Not every discussion will get a lot of responses. WhatamIdoing (talk) 23:15, 3 November 2022 (UTC)
The addition of the "What not to use the RfC process for" section was the result of a request by an editor. You can check the discussion in an archived thread titled, "Specifying that RfCs should not be listed on AfDs". Thinker78 (talk) 02:47, 5 November 2022 (UTC)

Bryan Henderson removed an RFC tag from this section

I would appreciate some input on Firehose of falsehood, the relevant info is on the talk page and the contentious edits are in the recent article history. I'm a relatively new and not-that-active editor, so I'm not sure if this is the right place for it, and I don't want to go into too much explanation here because I'm not feeling particularly neutral about it, to put it mildly, so I think it's best to just point towards the page itself. Apologies if this is the wrong procedure. ShabbyHoose (talk) 18:34, 19 November 2022 (UTC)

This RfC would go on the talk page for Firehose of falsehood. But you're supposed to discuss something extensively on the talk page of an article (and fail to reach consensus) before starting an RfC, and in my brief look at the page, I don't think you've met that standard yet.
There is a lot more information on how and when to do RfCs in WP:Requests for comment.
Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 19:31, 19 November 2022 (UTC)
@Giraffedata Thanks very much, I'll have a read of that. I guess my frustration was that nobody bothered to engage on the talk page for a long time, just silently reverting, but it appears that there is some engagement now, at least. Thanks again! ShabbyHoose (talk) 21:06, 19 November 2022 (UTC)

Misplaced RfC on Convicted Felon article

An editor started a section here for a discussion that doesn't belong here, so soon after deleted the section. But then the following discussion was added where the section used to be, which means it was really in the unrelated section above. Bryan Henderson inserted the section heading above to fix the page layout.

Hmm, peculiar, the FRS bot just messaged me concerning this discussion today: I always thought those notices were coordinated through the RfC tag itself? Perhaps I'm mistaken about that and this entry wasn't amended by the bot as usual because of the atypical placement of the tag? SnowRise let's rap 02:37, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
@Snow Rise: The FRS message was sent to you by Yapperbot at 00:31, 21 December 2022 (UTC); the {{rfc}} tag was removed by Valjean two minutes later. Whilst too late to prevent Yapperbot from sending out notices, the removal was correct: this is the wrong venue for an RfC of that nature - indeed, the wrong venue for almost any RfC. Except perhaps one proposing a fundamental change to the RfC process itself. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:38, 21 December 2022 (UTC)
I suppose we could set up an Wikipedia:Editnotice for this talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:22, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
That's an excellent idea! Go for it. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 01:33, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Really? I could have sworn the message said that the tag was removed weeks ago: I must have misread the timestamp. SnowRise let's rap 01:47, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Look at my notice at the top of this section. You were previously unwittingly looking at the section above this one, which like this one, was an attempt to start an RfC about another page. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:08, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
@Snow Rise: I think that I've worked it out. At the time that Yapperbot messaged you, this page looked like this, note the title of the last section. Subsequently, this edit by Valjean removed the rfc tag, then this edit by Philomathes2357 removed the whole thread, and this must be how the page stood when you acted upon Yapperbot's message. You went to the last section, and the presence of "RfC on ..." in the section title caused you to assume that it was the same RfC that you had been messaged about.
Yapperbot sends out notices very soon after Legobot visits an RfC to add an rfcid (half an hour in this instance), which unfortunately means that if the RfC is subsequently recategorised or withdrawn, Yapperbot doesn't sent out amendments, nor will it retract any notices that it's already sent out. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:22, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Can Yapperbot be instructed to not respond to RfCs placed on this page, but instead to send instructions to start the RfC on the relevant talk page? -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 23:54, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Create an Edit notice for this page

The problem.... People frequently think this is the place to open an RfC. It isn't. A solution has been suggested.

Copied from above:

I suppose we could set up an Wikipedia:Editnotice for this talk page. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:22, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

That's an excellent idea! Go for it. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 01:33, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Let's try something like this and start tweaking it:

If you wish to open an RfC, do NOT do it here. Do it on the talk page of the relevant article.

Now please improve that. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 03:04, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

It's hard to know what wording works without understanding how people come to open RfC discussions on this talk page. I can't figure out how someone can read enough of the instructions to know how to write an rfc tag without also knowing where to put the discussion. But I think the following is a little more clear, and uses the same language as the instructions:
This is the talk page for Wikipedia:Requests for comment. If you are creating an RfC, this is probably not where you want to do it. Instead, go to the talk page of the article or project page that you are interested in.
Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 23:31, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Bryan, did you not see my suggestion? We need a short editnotice telling them what not to do and where to do it. Try to tweak my suggestion. We do not need to repeat the instructions on the page. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 23:58, 23 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes, my post was in response to your suggestion. I like mine better, but yours is good too. I think it helps to use consistent wording when we have the instruction of where to put an RfC discussion in two places. If I were to make the minimum change to your text, it would be to replace the shouting NOT with the emphatic not. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 01:13, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

Here's another try, incorporating some of your ideas:

"This page deals with information about the RfC process. If you wish to open an RfC, do not do it here. Do it on the talk page of the relevant article or project."

Is that better? Feel free to tweak. It could look like this:

Valjean (talk) (PING me) 23:31, 24 December 2022 (UTC)

Or how about this, avoiding the enclosing div? The inspiration is Template:Wikipedia information pages talk page editnotice, which uses normal colours and icons. --Redrose64 🦌 (talk) 13:28, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
Yes, that's probably better. I took my inspiration from the edit notice at my talk page. This one is better for an article or project talk page. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 21:55, 25 December 2022 (UTC)
I suggest a slight tweak to the wording: "start" instead of "file". WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:44, 27 December 2022 (UTC)
Okay, done. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 15:45, 3 January 2023 (UTC)

Now we need to have an admin install this so it works. I suspect it should be installed on both the project page and this talk page. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 15:47, 3 January 2023 (UTC)

I'm an admin, but since I have contributed above I should not unilaterally bypass the WP:SALT that has been imposed on Template:Editnotices/Page/Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment by Primefac (talk · contribs). Also, we need to be sure that WP:CSD#G4 will not be used again, in view of Wikipedia:Templates for discussion/Log/2020 September 26#Template:Editnotices/Page/Wikipedia talk:Requests for comment. --Redrose64 🦌 (talk) 20:05, 3 January 2023 (UTC)
If there's consensus and it's a different template, then I don't really care. Primefac (talk) 20:33, 3 January 2023 (UTC)
This discussion has aged well, and there are no objections. I'm not sure how it will look when installed, but maybe a blank line should be inserted between. You can tweak it if necessary. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 21:42, 3 January 2023 (UTC)
OK,  Done. I don't like blank lines as such, so I created a gap by means of the margin-bottom: 0.5em; declaration in the |headerstyle= parameter. --Redrose64 🦌 (talk) 22:55, 3 January 2023 (UTC)
Thanks. It looks pretty good. Let's hope this keeps people from using this page to start RfCs. -- Valjean (talk) (PING me) 06:41, 4 January 2023 (UTC)

Late to the party, but as nominator of the TfD in question I am fine with the current edit notice. * Pppery * it has begun... 01:46, 5 January 2023 (UTC)


Please see Wikipedia talk:No original research#c-SmokeyJoe-20221223004800-Comments. WhatamIdoing (talk) 01:51, 23 December 2022 (UTC)

Problems with what you were doing, as I see them:
  • You were making unsigned posts
  • the unsigned posts implied asserted assumptions
  • The request to others to wait to respond amounts to ownership of a thread on a very important high visibility talk page. This is like setting up a stage on a main street, and starting a performance, which the passersby can’t help but watch.
My (old) wish for RfCs:
  • If the opening of the RfC is long (which it usually should be), then the initiator(s) should be explicitly identified in the opening statement.
  • Important RfCs (important meaning, things to change common practice, or things to radically change a structure) belong on a dedicated subpage. Or at least the drafting belongs on a subpage. Noting that it is likely that the RfC will be long running, and will involve many people and many threads, reasons for using a subpage this:
    • to facilitate meaningful watchlisting
    • to prevent the RfC from disrupting watchlisting of every other topic on the talk page
    • to have the history of the RfC, and repeat RfCs, in a logical easily found and referenced place.
An example of a productive slow exhausting drafting subpage was Talk:New York (state)/Proposed move (not an RfC, but it was bigger than most RfCs).
The new “subscribe” feature for following specific posts is great, but for a big slow messy RfC, which one might want to ignore until and unless it becomes serious, the subscribe feature doesn’t suffice.
-- SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:37, 2 January 2023 (UTC)
As I said at WT:NOR, I'm trying to follow the instructions from WP:RFCBRIEF, which say "It may be helpful to discuss your planned RfC question on the talk page before starting the RfC, to see whether other editors have ideas for making it clearer or more concise."
If you think that RFCBRIEF is a bad idea, and that planned RfC questions should not be discussed on the talk page before starting an RfC, then this is certainly the place for you to suggest changes to RFCBRIEF.
I don't think that asking people to wait until the RfC is actually open (e.g., until you stop changing the question) before they start !voting, is a sign of talk-page ownership. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:04, 4 January 2023 (UTC)
I think that you did not follow the following:

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.

You posted a lot of words, and there was no signature or timestamp. Some of your neutral preliminary information was not as neutral as you seemed to think, and there was no simple way for anyone to respond.
In terms of changes to RFC instructions, I believe that for any big RfC, which certainly includes a major split of a core content policy into two policies, it should be done on its own subpage. Discuss it on the main talk page, but draft the question, and the information on pros and cons on the subpage, with its own talk page. I point to the NYC RM preparation subpage as a successful model.
- SmokeyJoe (talk) 22:22, 4 January 2023 (UTC)
Is this not expected, when the question is still being changed?
RFCs, despite your personal preference, are not required to be signed by any individual. Signing it from the beginning of the drafting process can discourage others from helping draft it. Once you put your name on it, nobody wants to WP:Be bold. As an example, I hesitate to remove irrelevancies added by another editor, because he signed the paragraph. It makes his point weaker, but it's his comment, so... WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:52, 20 January 2023 (UTC)
Is this not expected, when the question is still being changed?. I don't understand. Is what not expected? What question is being changed?
"My personal preference"? Is to imply that I am idiosyncratic and to be ignored? Where was consensus formed that WP:RFCBRIEF should mean that normal talk page conventions, such as signing your posts, can be ignored. Why should one have to consult the history to find out who is proposing a radical restructure of a page? I do not think your Wikipedia talk:No original research#Turning one policy page into two policy pages was good, not at all.
If you would like others to help, a good idea is to ask.
If you want to intimidate others from getting involved, add a big tag:
This draft RfC is not yet open for comments.
If you are told not to comment on a talk page, then where may one comment?
My impression was that someone, hiding their identity, was preparing a railroad for a sudden major change. SmokeyJoe (talk) 05:33, 22 January 2023 (UTC)
@SmokeyJoe: RFCBRIEF has almost nothing about signatures, apart from one mention in the phrase give and sign a brief statement in the initial description and publish the page. It does, however, mention timestamps three times; this is because Legobot searches for a valid timestamp, and cares not a hoot whether it is part of a four-tilde signature or not. Legobot uses the timestamp for a number of purposes, including identifying the end of the RfC statement and determining the end of the thirty-day duration. The person starting the RfC is immaterial.
If you are drafting up an RfC, the RfC rules do not require a timestamp until there is an {{rfc}} tag, and do not require a signature at all. However, the talk page guidelines do request you to Sign your posts with four tildes (~~~~). It's a dilemma, and the best way that I see around it is to draft up the RfC in your userspace (not user talkspace), where sigs are not required, then when it's ready, copypaste the whole thing to the discussion page best related to the matter at hand, and where the RfC is actually to occur. When you do this, sign it straight away, and add an {{rfc}} tag either at the same time or soon after. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:25, 22 January 2023 (UTC)

Staying on thread topic

I am unable to find a Help:RFC or similar and my question is not answered in WP:RFC. Several editors are posting comments to the effect that they do not want this RFC to occur. I am unsurprised by that – these are two sides of a disagreement – but that is the entire point of RFCs.

Because I am the other side I don't think it would improve anything for me to {{collapse}} off topic comments but the thread is almost 100% off topic comments. Invasive Spices (talk) 18 January 2023 (UTC)

This is (of course) completely misleading as to what is going on with this RFC. Blaming others for your malformed RFC isn't right. For any editor/admin reading this, the RFC in question is here: Talk:Allegations_of_CIA_drug_trafficking#RFC_on_geography. I have proposed wording to fix it: [1] and another editor agreed with me. But that didn't suit this person for whatever reason.Rja13ww33 (talk) 19:55, 18 January 2023 (UTC)
Talk:s are not for spamming distractions no matter how well crafted. Invasive Spices (talk) 20 January 2023 (UTC)
Nothing I am saying is "spam". You need to start listening.Rja13ww33 (talk) 18:30, 21 January 2023 (UTC)
Do you have a question? Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 00:25, 19 January 2023 (UTC)
How do I stop people from violating the basics of WP:TALK#TOPIC and WP:RFC? This is such a basic problem that normally no one does this.
No one should derail RFCs with pages of extraneous chatter about "I want to start an RFC about Venezuela." Start a different RFC. That isn't this RFC.
WP:TALKOFFTOPIC is quite clear about the options and I would like to follow it. However it will keep whatever little peace there is left if I find other ways to rerail this RFC. Invasive Spices (talk) 20 January 2023 (UTC)
Invasive Spices, if people who haven't been following the article's recent developments are having trouble understanding what information you're hoping they'll give you, then you should consider re-writing the question to be clearer.
More generally, you can't stop people from straying off topic or objecting to a question. Often this is a strength, not a weakness, because it means people can propose new ideas and editors can react to new information as it gets presented. WhatamIdoing (talk) 22:00, 20 January 2023 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: There is nothing wrong with the question. I was unaware that multiple questions are not permitted. I was told this without personal attacks.[2] I corrected[3] that 7 days ago. That is no longer relevant and yet it is the subject of civility problems and spam on that Talk: page (and in a comment above). At least one editor[4] has been unable to find the RFC in the page because of this.
Your page says you are a Wikimedia Foundation employee. I presume you are aware such a volume of distraction and spamming on such a political subject is…interesting. Invasive Spices (talk) 20 January 2023 (UTC)
I didn't see anything like "I want to start an RFC about Venezuela" in the discussion, so I guess you'll have to be more specific about what violations of the basics of WP:TALK#TOPIC]] and WP:RFC you want to stop for me to help. I do see lots of meta discussion (discussion about the discussion) in the form of debating what the RfC question should be. I guess meta discussions are technically off-topic, but it really can't be helped. You ought to end the RfC, continue the discussion about the most useful question to ask, and then start another one once the question is finalized. The question as it stands is very strange in that it isn't about Wikipedia. I think it goes without saying that you're not supposed to use RfC to request comments on something other than a Wikipedia issue. The participants have suggested wording that makes it about Wikipedia, addressing the Wikipedia issue you probably had in mind anyway. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 04:47, 21 January 2023 (UTC)
I didn't see anything like "I want to start an RFC about Venezuela"
It's been spammed so many times that it can't possibly be missed.
The question as it stands is very strange in that it isn't about Wikipedia.
Are you perhaps also unable to find the RFC? Are you perhaps also not talking about the correct question? You would not be the first.[5] The volume of spam has obscured its location. Of course that is not an accident.
The RFC is:
In this source do "to the United States" and "in the United States" mean that events occurred in the United States? Invasive Spices (talk) 21 January 2023 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I thought. No reference to Wikipedia in there. Usually, RfCs are like, "Should Wikipedia article X say ..."
You're apparently using "spam" in an unconventional way; I suggest you find another word for whatever it is you mean. Spamming is widely distributing something, such as sending an email to a million people or writing the same thing on a hundred web pages or posting something to a dozen fora. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 23:14, 21 January 2023 (UTC)
No reference to Wikipedia in there. A question about a source used on Wikipedia isn't pertinent to Wikipedia? I won't surprise you if I don't take that seriously.
Spamming is You're trying to redefine what spamming means. I won't surprise you if I don't take that seriously. Spamming, for example[6] Rja13ww33's comments for the past weeks. Invasive Spices (talk) 22 January 2023 (UTC)
Please stop misusing <code>...</code> tags. Their purpose is to represent a fragment of computer code. This could be an XML element name, a file name, a computer program, or any other string that a computer would recognize. That is not what you are doing. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 19:29, 22 January 2023 (UTC)
@Invasive Spices, there is no rule against having multiple questions, and @Redrose64 didn't say that any such rule exists. There is a rule against having the first character of an RFC question be list formatting. The part of RFCBRIEF that is relevant is the bit that says "For technical reasons, statements...should not begin with a list. I assure you that if Redrose64 had meant "you may not have three questions in the same RFC", you would have seen words like "you may not have three questions in the same RFC" instead of the words "never begin an RfC statement with a list". WhatamIdoing (talk) 04:23, 22 January 2023 (UTC)
Oh, that's what it's all about. If this diff had been early on (instead of on 20 January 2023), I would have provided a longer explanation. Instead, I've been looking for text like "RFC about Venezuela", also indications of spamming. I've also seen frequent misuse of <code>...</code> tags, where in most cases {{tq}} would have been more appropriate. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 08:30, 22 January 2023 (UTC)
What makes you think that is "what it's all about" 11 days after Redrose64 helped me with this?[7] It has been 11 days since this was relevant.
WhatamIdoing and Redrose64 I see you require me to return us to the matter at hand: How does one make an RFC usable again? Editors must be able to find things on Talk pages.[8]Invasive Spices (talk) 22 January 2023 (UTC)

When moving an RFC...

@Redrose64: I'd like to add, maybe to WP:RFCEND, something like, When moving an RFC from one page to another, blank |rfcid= in the {{RFC}} template. Is that correct, and anything else that should be said? Levivich (talk) 22:25, 26 February 2023 (UTC)

A cutpaste move of an ongoing RfC doesn't happen very often, roughly once every two or three months. There are a number of circumstances when the |rfcid= parameter must be removed, and a few where removing it is actually harmful. I have considered putting together a section on when this should and should not be done, but it looked like becoming unwieldy and confusing. There is already such a lot on the page that people are applying WP:TLDR, ignoring the whole page and slapping an {{rfc}} tag on the most trivial of discussions when a simple check of WP:RFCBEFORE would tell them not to. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:39, 26 February 2023 (UTC)

This RfC was opened in January (though possibly/probably? not in the correct manner); could someone either do the correct opening/closing? Thank you, Huldra (talk) 20:59, 2 April 2023 (UTC)

@Huldra: What was wrong with it? --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 22:41, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
@Redrose64: I think I was supposed to put it in a template, to alert the community, so that "an outsider" could close it? At the moment, it is not oficially closed, and there have been a tendency to edit-war; I would like to see a closure, thanks, Huldra (talk) 22:49, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
If you want a formal closure, list it at WP:CR. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 23:00, 2 April 2023 (UTC)
Ok, thanks; have done, Huldra (talk) 23:16, 2 April 2023 (UTC)

Comment the article

I am searching for a editor to help me to improve my article about an artist with comments enabling me to submit it for revision. Thanks in advance. Noobsaiboth (talk) 15:05, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

@Noobsaiboth - Several things;
  • This page is not the correct venue for this sort of request. Wikipedia:Peer review might be a better fit.
  • The AFC reviewer who declined Draft:Ararat Aleksanyan left comments letting you know what you need to do to submit it for revision. What more information do you need?
Do not respond here. I will copy this conversation to Draft talk:Ararat Aleksanyan. Reply there. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 15:13, 19 April 2023 (UTC)
Also, in case you do check back here, the draft will soon be deleted as you are not allowed to copy and paste text from sources; you need to write the article in your own words using facts gathered from sources. ~ ONUnicorn(Talk|Contribs)problem solving 15:39, 19 April 2023 (UTC)

Should I open a RfC?

I have a proposal at Wikipedia:Village_pump_(proposals)#Proposal_to_reword_text_above_the_source-editing_window that looks like it can be better organized with the more structured nature of RfC process. I am quite inexperienced within the area of RfC processes so I am asking for a confirmation here first. Thanks, Carpimaps (talk) 16:43, 6 April 2023 (UTC)

I don't see anything especially structured about the RfC process. The only difference between the RfC process and what you're currently doing is that the RfC process invites more people to participate. Do you think you have a problem with not enough input in the existing discussion? Maybe an impasse? If not, I don't think it would be appropriate to do an RfC, which could greatly complicate the discussion with too many participants, while unnecessarily absorbing precious RfC commenter time. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 18:08, 6 April 2023 (UTC)
Some newer editors have only seen a few RFCs, so they might expect them to be structured like votes, instead of like discussions. This is generally not appropriate, but that style usually works for RFCs that are both large and simpler. WhatamIdoing (talk) 02:33, 21 April 2023 (UTC)

"Reply" tool in subpages

As I now see, the "Reply" button is now in subpages due to the signature. I thought about adding __ARCHIVEDTALK__ in, but I feared that Legobot would revert the change. George Ho (talk) 18:23, 29 May 2023 (UTC)

@George Ho: Legobot doesn't touch what's in transcluded templates, so this does it. Of course, I could have put it in Template:Rfclistintro with the same effect. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 20:34, 29 May 2023 (UTC)

Template tag

@Giraffedata, I don't think this is quite correct. We have Special:Tags and we have <ref>...</ref> tags (and all sorts of similar tags, e.g., <gallery>...</gallery> and <code>...</code> and <u>...</u>), but a plain old transcluded template isn't really a tag. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:03, 21 May 2023 (UTC)

I don't know any other word but "tag" for the text that transcludes a template, but I know "template" isn't the word for that, because that word is already well defined as something else: the Wikipedia page that generates the text that gets transcluded. I looked at Help:Template and found that it manages to avoid ever giving that text a name, but it uses "template" exclusively to refer to the page that is referenced, applied, called, etc. by the text in question. I sometimes say "template tag" to be more specific. I do know that people often call the text "template", but that's not a good enough reason to misuse the word. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 18:25, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
I don't think we have clear jargon for this. A template could add a tag, but nobody would call an infobox a tag, and we do call it a template. It is a case of identifying the object by the mechanism instead of the output, but it's what we say. WhatamIdoing (talk) 21:48, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
Well, we do have a pretty clear definition in the jargon for "template", based on the template help pages, and we also have the plain English word "template", which does not describe the {{}} wikitext that transcludes a template. I don't get the infobox analogy. I would not call an infobox a template and would not call the markup one uses to generate an infobox (by transcluding a template) a template either, for fear of confusing someone. If I say I'm going to modify the infobox template, do I mean the page that generates infoboxes or the parameters in the {{infobox ...}} markup in an article?
"Tag" seems to fit what {{rfc ...}} is, but there are other words that fit too. It's markup, wikitext, text, or just "{{rfc}}". There's no need to use a word that has another documented meaning. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 02:00, 22 May 2023 (UTC)
Wikipedia:Glossary#T gives nine separate definitions for tag. WhatamIdoing (talk) 00:05, 24 May 2023 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I see Definition #1 is the way I propose to use it here. Or maybe not, because there's a third common definition of "template" that might be what is meant here: The rendered text generated on a page by a template. This glossary entry is incredibly sloppy, making it hard to rely on for anything. (For one thing, the only definition that matches the term's most official usage, WP:TAGS, is the last of the nine). The varied use of the word "template" and the relationship of the word "tag" to templates really ought to be clarified on Help:Template. I'll see what editors on that talk page think. Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 17:33, 24 May 2023 (UTC)
I think that "the rendered text generated on a page by a template" is a fair understanding of "tag" in this instance, but I agree that it's complicated. WhatamIdoing (talk) 20:57, 29 May 2023 (UTC)
Help talk: Template#Terminology: Template Bryan Henderson (giraffedata) (talk) 06:28, 25 May 2023 (UTC)

Issue about basing party colors on logos or popular association (media color)

Me and Number 57 have been arguing over color codes for two Danish parties, namely Green Left and Red Green Alliance.

I'm trying to argue that Green Left should use Hot Pink, and Red-Green Alliance should use Orange, while Number 57 argues that both parties should use red, based on their party logo. He argues that this is how party colors on wikipedia are determined. However I don't think we can conclude that this is how party colors are chosen on wikipedia, when at least all these parties (Die Linke - Liberal Alliance - Danish People's Party - DUP - Socialist Left Party - Christian Democratic Party - Swedish People's Party of Finland - Fine Gael - Lega - Forza Italia) have their color based on the media color instead of their logo color. An issue I find with basing it on logo color, is that Green Left i.e. have both a red and white logo on their website, and also uses a Green logo on their election posters. Therefore it seems that the party doesn't have a clear color they associate themselves with.

So instead of deciding which of those 3 logos to use, I think that using the color that DR, TV2 and the official site of the parliament Folketinget uses is better.

We've gotten 3 outside opinions, with 1 arguing for Number 57's case, and 2 editors arguing for my case. However Number 57 didn't give me permission to change the color codes, and asked me to start a broader discussion here instead.

Best regards, Thomas Thomediter (talk) 09:46, 30 May 2023 (UTC)

@Thomediter: this is the talk page for discussing improvements to the page Wikipedia:Requests for comment, so it's the wrong venue for your question.
Anyway, you say We've gotten 3 outside opinions, but have not linked to where such opinions were stated; I can guess that one was Talk:Green Left (Denmark)#Changing the color of Green Left and a discussion there is entirely appropriate for matters specific to that particular article; but whilst you also started Talk:Red–Green Alliance (Denmark)#Color change to Orange, nobody else has contributed there yet.
Since the matter affects more than one article, I suggest that you leave a note at some central location, such as Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Politics/Political parties, directing people to contribute to the ongoing discussions. Don't start a formal RfC at this stage, at least not until the suggestions at WP:RFCBEFORE have been exhausted. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:27, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
Apologies for the missing links.
Talk:Green Left (Denmark)#Changing the color of Green Left, Amakuru and Gust Justice both supported the change, Braganza didn't.
For Module talk:Political party#Edit request 23 April 2023 Red Green Alliance - Request for a color change to Orange (Solution needed) vorrt and Amakuru both supported the change.
Also Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elections and Referendums#RfC about party colours, here Howard the Duck also supports using the color code from reliable sources instead of the logo.
Cheers, thomediter :) Thomediter (talk) 15:32, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Since posting above, I've found the following (and included the first two in this list for completeness):
Seven discussions, plus this one making eight; there may be others. Thomediter, you really should have linked those in your original post; and whilst you didn't start all of these, you are getting seriously into WP:OTHERPARENT territory. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 15:55, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
Oh, but It was just I didn't get a reply in all of these, and didn't know user talk was considered public talks. I'm still learning on wikipedia, apologies, but thanks for informing me.
Cheers, thomediter :) Thomediter (talk) 16:00, 30 May 2023 (UTC)
@Moxy, I wonder if you'd be interested in this dispute. I think the relevant RFC question might sound something like "Are the colors used to identify parties in Module:Political party exempt from the normal Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Accessibility rules?" WhatamIdoing (talk) 17:42, 31 May 2023 (UTC)
@WhatamIdoing: there already is an RfC, although not with that question, at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Elections and Referendums#RfC about party colours. --Redrose64 🌹 (talk) 21:07, 31 May 2023 (UTC)