Wikinews:Water cooler/policy

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Policies and guidelines and the Style guide contain or link to most of the current en.Wikinews policies and guidelines, however policy is based on the accepted practices of the day on Wikinews, often these might not be written down. This section of the Water cooler focuses on discussions regarding policy issues.

You may wish to check the archives to see if a subject has been raised previously.


Into a normal wiki[edit]

Please turn this project into a normal wiki. First thing, to quit censorship before publishment when serious writers are concerned. Abandon the review and be a community. But do more and trust writers more. Please acknowledge that there are too less writers meanwhile under the current rules and see the decline as a signal for change. Don't deny as if the current road is the best! Please turn this project into a normal wiki. Ymnes (talk) 09:25, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

@Ymnes: Your points are well taken. The problem is that there really needs to be extra scrutiny for news. That makes it hard to publish faster. See also s:, where pages need two editors to be fully validated. —Justin (koavf)TCM 09:38, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
The same has been said about encyclopaedias, plus there are Wikinews versions running without the circus. Please just do the scrutiny without reviews. I can speak for myself here. I am one of those users that wrote an article here that was fully OK, but didn't get his article published. The consequence is that I'll never write here again. That's a very logic consequence. Theoretically, Wikipedia coundn't function either, but it does. Ymnes (talk) 12:59, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Whether or not somebody has said something clueless about encyclopedias is irrelevant.

I've just been looking at your deleted contributions. Afaict, you have never submitted an article for review here. You did start to write something back in November 2017, I see, but just what its merits or demerits were at the time is unknown because you never submitted it for review, and so it was never reviewed. There's no indication of whether or not you considered it complete. Now, from a practical project-oriented perspective, this raises an interesting question.

With news, the first published version matters, hugely. We've had appalling —terrifying— demonstrations in recent times of the widespread devastation that can be caused in the modern world by "fake news"; even social media sites are trying to clamp down on the problem, using techniques that actually are censorship (unlike anything we do here). Now, it would be a major problem, on any kind of news site, if people don't read about what they're supposed to be doing. Yet it's a basic principle —even more so in the internet age, and true enough before the internet to have been a subject of humor well before— that written sets of instructions are not an effective way to convey to people how to do things. The old joke, on the user's side, was "when all else fails, read the instructions". From the tech support side, going back at least for several decades before the Web, it was "RTFM". I vividly recall, some time back on Wikibooks, having somebody complain about receiving a welcome message on their user talk page, and when asked about it, they elaborated that they'd been to a whole bunch of the different (English) sisters, and each project insisted on spamming them with a welcome message. It was very clear that they had no awareness at all that each project is different, and that each project had gone out of its way to provide them with a set of instructions explaining what they needed to know about the unique character of the particular project they'd arrived at. I've noticed that a great deal of careful thought goes into those welcome messages, to provide people with what they need to know, and evidently this person was systematically not reading the results of all that careful thought. This is a problem on every project, including Wikipedia, and probably provides a continuous injection of further hostility on Wikipedia between new contributors and admins, thus becoming one of the (several) sources of toxic social atmosphere there. My plan is to change the rules of the game, by using a different strategy to help people know what to do; in particular, I'm a believer that interactive pages must be grown by the community of wiki users, as it's impossible for a central authority such as the Wikimedia Foundation (just as the wiki content must be grown by the community of wiki users); and I'm doing it for the sake of the entire wikimedian sisterhood (and through the sisters, the entire world, because we do, every one of the sisters, have the power to change the world). (I did make some of these points in... speaking of written texts... an essay.)--Pi zero (talk) 14:03, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

This is not a constructive answer Pi. The first part is not completely true and an attack on the messenger, and the second part is far too long and completely irrelevant. Search for solutions, not for enemies. Ymnes (talk) 14:33, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes: Absolutely no attack intended. The first paragraph (single-sentence) is substantially true. The second paragraph is providing background information without which your remarks would be likely to give a false impression about what happened. And the third (and by far the longest) paragraph goes directly to the very heart of the matter; it's more relevant than the case-specific details. --Pi zero (talk) 14:52, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
The first sentences are not completely true, and I don't only speak for myself but I gave a general example. The second (and third) part is completely irrelevant. If you can't find a solution yourself, please be open open to others? This project is dying. Change it into a real wiki and save it. Ymnes (talk) 15:01, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
There are so many ways to improve this site without using reviews. One can work with trustworthy writers: after one article it is open to the community to vote them to be. One can work with the template:citation needed. One can skip the review and place a standard banner above the news article that says that it wasn't checked. And so forth, and so forth, and so forth... (did I yet say "and so forth"?) Ymnes (talk) 15:17, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
The first sentence is mostly true, certainly far more so than the generalization it was replying to. Re the second paragraph, you presented your own experience as an example, but your own experience is very specific, showing really very close to nothing of the breadth of major issues involved in the project's major policy decisions, and therefore both your experience, and the resultant shaping of your attitude, need to be understood if they are to be considered at all.

I could, of course, point out the difficulties with your specific suggestions; after all, this is all extensively mapped territory, and why the things you're talking about don't work is well understood; much intelligent discussion is possible on that stuff (even if it is a bit repetitive since that ground is so well-trodden), but that sort of discussion is only possible when everyone is approaching it with an open mind. You appear unwilling to learn even how we do things here, let alone why, and I'm honestly boggled by your pretence that I don't have a plan in the face of my actually explaining parts of it to you. I truly have no wish to "attack" you, but I don't see how your position is fact-based rather than opinion-based (which is, at bottom, the basic struggle for the soul of human civilization today: fact-based worldview versus opinion-based worldview, with Wikipedia meaning to be fact-based while inadvertently giving aid and comfort to the opinion-based faction, and Wikinews —certainly English Wikinews, anyway— solidly on the fact-based side). --Pi zero (talk) 16:08, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

You say: "I truly have no wish to 'attack', and you fire one after another attack on me. Discussions with you always feel bad. And please repeat this sentence to yourself: "that sort of discussion is only possible when everyone is approaching it with an open mind." I don't see an open mind of yours. The inactivity on the project is a real problem. If you can't fix it, let others do so. Don't block the path of this project to the future. It might very well be you that is in the way. Ymnes (talk) 17:09, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
These discussions with you usually feel bad; frankly, you're bringing ill will to this project and then claiming it must have already been here. I don't think you're doing it on purpose; I'm more inclined to think you don't see what you're doing. When you come on English Wikinews, in a public discussion area, and say things that are mistaken, I feel it's important to point out the mistakes; that's not an "attack", it's the necessary substance of the discussion. --Pi zero (talk) 18:26, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I am not bringing ill will at all!! Have you lost your good faith at all? It's not a presumption, but a fact that this project is slowing down and down. It's losing writers and you're attacking me each time when I try to warn that this project needs to change. Assume good faith and don't insult me. Ymnes (talk) 19:35, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
I'll readily concede that calling it "ill will" is an oversimplification of the situation. Note that the concept of "good faith" is also much too simplistic for the situation. (The AGF principle on Wikipedia has, btw, done enormous cumulative damage to that project; but even if it hadn't, the disastrous effect of news reporters assuming good faith — or bad faith, or indeed assuming things at all — would be, like news itself, immediate rather than merely long-term. Which is why we follow instead the principle never assume.)

As I did mention earlier, you've not done well on attention to facts, and the very fact that you've ignored much of what I've said in this thread is itself symptomatic. At the same time, you're pushing a non sequitur: you say, the project is slowing down, therefore we have to abandon review. (That's the essence of it.) The consequences of en.wn abandoning review are familiar territory here, both from reasoning and from demonstration; there's nothing good that would come of it for anybody, and much harm; and even if we'd somehow never thought about the consequences of that strategy, the fact that the project is slowing down does not in any way support, let alone imply, any particular course of action. --Pi zero (talk) 20:14, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

Oh, aha, you have an open mind and don't prevent the destruction of this project...? Oh master, yourrrr sow goowd. 21:01, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
When neutral facts are concerned: Wikinews in the languages Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch is running OK. English, as well a potential of billions of earth inhabitants of readers, isn't producing daily. Please stop the decline of this project!! And don't attack the messenger! Ymnes (talk) 21:48, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
As already explicated: you haven't been attacked. --22:22, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Ymnes: with peer review removed, there are two changes.
  • People have an incentive to care for each newly submitted article immediately, as it is immediately exposed to a large audience. However, I believe we can monitor new page creations and do the same even with the current system. There is nothing stopping you.
  • In the case the news article is not deleted, the newcomers get a sense of successful publication and motivation to continue. However, in the current system the only thing stopping this from happening is the freshness threshold. (We don't publish events which occurred over a week ago, with fresh details coming over 3 days ago at maximum.) Therefore anything that we can realistically edit to make it publishable while it is still fresh. Again the current system may be hiding this fact but it is not a technical barrier of any sort.
Please let me know what other changes you anticipate with the removal of the peer review requirement. --Gryllidamsg/chat/jmgse 23:36, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
That's leaving out the important negatives — the reasons removing review would be incredibly destructive. -Pi zero (talk) 23:43, 6 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but I don't think Ymnes is interested in that at the moment. I'm trying to figure out what motivates their suggestion. --Gryllidamsg/chat 00:07, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Ymnes: take two at this: perhaps your thinking is 'your quality requirements are high, therefore a newcomer will never be able to contribute'. This is a fundamental misunderstanding. Are you assuming a beginner must write a complete story straight away as otherwise it will not be published? They don't have to: Here is what they can do at first (this is an example implementation -- there may be a better way to put it, I am still searching and there is a few related links on my user page). It starts with tiny submissions. A half of it may be binned and never published but it is OK. Some of them may be completed, but that's not the point: the key point is that they would get quick feedback on what they have done, and proceed to the next phase. Of course, some of the headlines suggested by a newcomer may be completed by another volunteer. There is some form of a benefit to it: existing volunteers get told what is relevant and publish things which may be interesting to the public. But this is not required for the learning process to succeed.
In other words I see people can and should be able to make 'low quality' submissions but in my view they need to be structured lesson plan which helps people pick up the basic skills required for succeeding better in their next attempt. In my view the lesson plan needs to be structured in a way that original submissions are as small as possible, so that they're easier to write, easier to review, people get feedback quicker, and also they are easier to bin without causing frustration. In my view removing peer review has nothing to do with this and instead we need to make it more clear to newcomers how they can begin gradually without writing a complete article.
Again Ymnes I would love to know what positive changes you would see if the peer review was removed. Even if none of my two attempts above are close to your concerns please do not hesitate to clarify.
--Gryllidamsg/chat 00:55, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
I notice that I'm not being taken seriously.
  • Pi changes the subject and is not talking about what is going wrong on Wikinews, but what might be wrong with me. In fact, that is indeed an attack on me, and he is denying that. He should stick to the subject and shouldn't make it personal.
  • Pi claims "Afaict, you have never submitted an article for review here". That is also addressed on my person, not on the subject that I am introducing here. And it's very untrue. The truth is that I wrote this one and this one, next to this one that has never been picked up for a review. The result is that I hesitate to write an article here ever again.
  • As a reaction I see replies with a lot of text: what is the goal of so much text? We know from Twitter that people can come to the point in 140-280 characters... I didn't come here with the objective to invest a lot of time in reading loads of text...
What I want, is to warn that there will be no Wikinews at all in the future, when nothing changes! People are leaving and nothing has been changed yet to attract more users.
Having a review, is not a guarantee for quality. I.e. the content of this article was more correct when I finished it, than how it ended (English is not my mother language, so I mean it without language mistakes). The question is therefore: is the quality of the English Wikinews really as high as is stated here so often? Should there just be one person that is doing the review? Should it end after the last review? In fact, on Wikipedia we review with a lot of people together. There are Wikinews versions too that function without reviews. In fact, that is how a wiki works, and at the end this is a wiki.
I didn't only warn, but came with solutions too. "One can work with trustworthy writers: after one article it is open to the community to vote them to be. One can work with the template:citation needed. One can skip the review and place a standard banner above the news article that says that it wasn't checked. And so forth, and so forth, and so forth..."
I even added: did I yet say "and so forth"? Because I wanted to mark that there can be a lot of other solutions more than I gave. Also I yet suspected that this discussion might not end into an open minded session where people brainstorm a lot of new ideas and implement them into an improved Wikinews. The discussion is yet quite soon circling around the things people don't want (to introduce or skip), instead of what they do want.
Finally: this is my last day of the weekend and this is not my project. In other words, this is my last contribution to this subject. How it should be done, is not for me to invent or decide. Please re-read my solutions and mark 'and so forth', because one can think of more. I hope there won't be a moment when I have to place English ('Engels') in a lower section in this table. Please be open minded and change this project. Do what is necessary for the survival of English Wikinews. Ymnes (talk) 07:53, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
You perceive me to be changing the subject. I perceive that I have addressed the subject directly, and you blithely dismissed it as being especially irrelevant. The trouble is, pretty clearly, that you are perceiving the subject differently than I am. I'm pretty sure that's closely connected to (not "caused by", but certainly nearby to, in the causal nexus) how we're conceptualizing the world differently (and therefore conceptualizing news in fundamentally different terms). An immediate form of this discrepancy is fundamental mismatch of what we think news is and, therefore, what a news wiki is for. --Pi zero (talk) 13:08, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
@Ymnes:: here are 279 characters for you: speaking at the core: people can not be trustworthy editors because they make mistakes all the time; if you can attract users better than me or Pi zero, either do so or suggest me how I can. So far you haven't done either, although I think you tried to explain, I haven't got it. --Gryllidamsg/chat 21:23, 7 October 2018 (UTC)
Most importantly, I want to warn that this project will not exist any more in the future when it won't be made easier at least to have articles published here. The chance an article will not be reviewed, must be minimal (so people stay motivated, stay here and write again). Writers like Pi, Gryllida, Acastaya and a lot more shouldn't even be reviewed any more (to increase the flow of new articles). One could think of more, like loosening the principles. Like, is it really necessary that an article complies to Who, What, Why, When and How? Or, some people can write articles that are true and trustworthy, but their command of English requires an language check, in stead of a content check (this will solve the problem for reviewers that don't understand the foreign sources, because that part of the review can be skipped). On talk pages, people with dissident ideas should feel heard, not denied and felt being a problem. Are there rules that won't help this project to survive? (get rid of them) And so forth, I cannot invent all necessary improvement here. And don't shoot the solutions I give, but improve them where necessary. Dare to renew, and to make mistakes too, because initiating no renewal is the biggest mistake of all. The decline is visible to any outsider, and change is really needed. But it's not my project, so I hope I have given some insights that may be helpful. Because I would love to see that you can revive English Wikinews. Ymnes (talk) 19:33, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
I haven't read this whole thread, but I think the current review cohort has accepted that the way things are done here will result in a smaller draft team. Whether that means Wikinews will die out is open to speculation. It might, but Pi zero and the others aren't unreasonable if they think that it will just continue as a very small part of Project Wiki. However, if there were to be a sudden influx of drafters, either the site would change a great deal or most of them would be driven off.
As for language check of a drafter who speaks English as a subsequent language, I rather enjoy doing that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 16:10, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Reviewers being too picky about what is required for NPOV and what isn't (was: Updates to WN:NPOV)[edit]

I'd like to discuss updating WN:NPOV.

A drafter wrote something that they believe to be consistent with our neutrality policy as-written that a reviewer is adamant is inconsistent with actual best practices on Wikinews. If the reviewers are right, then WN:NPOV must be updated so such conflicts can be avoided in the future.

It may also be time to write down the policy or guideline about reviewers' privileges on Wikinews. If it really is so core to the site, it should be disclosed publicly. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:05, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

"A drafter wrote something that they believe to be consistent with our neutrality policy as-written that a reviewer is adamant is inconsistent with actual best practices on Wikinews." You mean, you wrote something that you thought was okay, based on a policy you've been told often you don't really understand, and a reviewer pointed out it's problematic. Truthfully, that doesn't warrant cage-rattling about revisions to policy pages.

Review privileges are written about all over the site. --Pi zero (talk) 14:05, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

That is too personal, Pi zero. And not "you've been told often you don't really understand," but rather "I, Pi zero, have a habit of telling you that you don't understand whenever your thoughts differ from mine." Frankly, of course I think I'm right. That's why I think what I think. You think you're right too, don't you?
By "reviewers' privileges," I was being diplomatic. I mean this idea you have that reviewers are always right and never have anything to learn from drafters. This "If a reviewer tells you a word is wrong, don't tell them why you picked it or explain. It is your duty to obey every whim as a command" bit. It woudl come off as less personal and less creepy if it were formally codified. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:13, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Unfortunately, it's not too personal. It's accurate. The difficulty here is centrally about what you, as an individual, don't understand. --Pi zero (talk) 15:19, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
I wrote that intro the way I wrote it so people could show up to the conversation unbiased.
According to what you wrote on the talk page, there is a whole class of people who think the way I do. You're acting like I have some obligation to reject my own judgement just because you tell me I'm wrong, as if you personally were a source. I sometimes feel that you make up rules as you go just because you feel like pushing me around, and if that's not what you're doing, then that's not fair to you. If the rules and policies are written down, you can prove they're not just your whims and it's nothing personal, with no fuss. Darkfrog24 (talk) 15:27, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
This comes to something I tried (optimistically) to describe to you some time back, and as I recall you got the impression I was calling you stupid, which is ironic since (I realized, thinking about that for a while) I've often gotten some of that sense from stuff you've said about me. Hopefully, neither of us actually thinks that about the other. I have first-hand experience of others misjudging, in oversimplified ways, the implications of my not being good at some cognitive tasks (as well as second-hand experience from watching others in similar difficulties, and perhaps third-hand experience if that's a fair description of reading research literature). I get that it's hard to relativize one's thinking on this stuff. Wikinews works from deep principles that have a definite rhyme and reason... that not everyone can "see". It takes a... call it a 'structural knack', that not everyone has. Stepping back from it, that's downright science-fiction-like, a layer of reality that some people can see and others can't. (What was that movie called? Oh, yeah.) But that knack is why the whole isn't arbitrary or idiosyncratic even though it resides much of the time in individual minds rather than documents; it's why the coherence of the whole structure is more robust than the documents themselves. We write documents that try to get at the principles, and we also address the application of the principles in reviews, and it's through these vehicles that successive generations of Wikinewsies, if they have this structural knack, find their way to the principles. That 'knack' is also key in our strategy of seeking to document the general principles as coherent wholes rather than getting wrapped up in details; we expect to reason from the general principles to specific applications, with stability provided by that structural knack... that, if one doesn't have it, would likely seem a bit science-fiction-y. Whenever we try to write specific rules for application, there are endless exceptions to potentially worry about, because a specific rule lacks the rich actual context that governs how the general principles apply to a specific situation.

Executive summary (sort-of): the structural knack plays into the stability of the deep principles, into how they get communicated, into the strategy of documenting the general principles rather than detailed regulations for their use, and into the stability of their application. --Pi zero (talk) 17:21, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

┌─────────────────────────────────┘
For the record, not only Pi, but I too have found your writings violating NPOV, and other various issues which you have never fixed, and any attempt to make you understand has , without fail, resulted in you saying this is not a teacher-student model. I am quite certain that you don't understand teacher-student model as well as NPOV.
•–• 19:36, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

I'll put it this way.
I am here to write news articles, not play school. I'm not your student. I'm not your employee. I'm not your little bitch. I'm a volunteer.
I will draft articles that are consistent with Wikinews' rules as written down. I you think they're not fit for publication, don't hit "publish." If you think reviewing my work is not what you want to do with your time, don't spend your time reviewing my work. You're a volunteer too. If my drafts don't get published, oh well.
If ever you think that you are right and I am wrong, I will listen to you because you are my respected colleagues, but it is on you to convince me.
Please stop with the hostility when I listen but still do not agree. We are all adults here, we've all had our own experiences. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:44, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Acagastya, this is for you specifically. Remember that time you screamed at me for misinterpreting a source when you hadn't read the source first? That's part of where this is coming from. No, I can't just assume reviewers know better than I do and are always right. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:47, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
I did not "scream" at you. And how did you just assume that I did not read the source? Can you point to it? Also, if you think reviewing is just as simple as pushing a button, you are deluded.
•–• 12:55, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
You told me you hadn't read it. Darkfrog24 (talk) 13:07, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
There is a difference between going through the source as a reviewer, and following a story as any person. Are we really discussing confirmation bias here?
•–• 13:15, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
If I might suggest —with apologies that I can't afford time at this moment to write extensively on this point— it is not necessary to choose between the exclusive dual options of play-school or disregard-reviewer-concerns-and-let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may. I feel it should be possible to adopt a stance that everyone will be content with; with some further thought perhaps I'll pin it down and try to articulate it. --Pi zero (talk) 16:19, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Oh absolutely. I don't disregard reviewer comments. They are the informed opinions and relayed conclusions of my respected colleagues. But they are not policy, not magic, not necessarily true or correct, not necessarily better than what I can do on my own. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:54, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
And—and this is my personal experience, not necessarily that of every drafter—if my respected colleague delivers those comments in a way that makes me feel like they're pushing me around, I'm going to be disinclined to act on them for fear of encouraging more of the same. Darkfrog24 (talk) 17:57, 29 October 2018 (UTC)
Pushing you around? Now that, pardon my saying so, is a profound and insulting misjudgement of what's going on.

Another point you're missing is that the whole project is geared to sorting folks out by aptitude, as a result of which, it's a statistically wise bet that reviewers do have better judgement. It took a while on the project to fully appreciate the extent to which the whole system is geared toward individual earned reputation; kind of reminds me of the aha! moment when I learned that the reason owls have dish-shaped faces is that their entire face is essentially a dish microphone, giving them incredibly good sound pickup. --Pi zero (talk) 19:05, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Key word: Earned. My respect as colleagues yes, you've earned that, but not the belief that your judgement is better than mine no, you have not convinced me of that. If this were a real newspaper at which I were an employee, I would of course say "yes boss, we'll do it your way because it's your newspaper" and it would be understood that I did not necessarily believe the employer was right, only that we had an agreement to do things his or her way in exchange for payment. In a way, you are demanding more. You're want me to actually believe what you tell me over what I can see.
And yes, when I say "I prefer [things a certain way, in response to the reviewer having done things that way]" and the reviewer answers with "I prefer a [picture of a pony]" I feel pushed around or at least like people are being kind of rude. Darkfrog24 (talk) 21:28, 29 October 2018 (UTC)

Darkfrog24, words such as 'liberals' or 'pro-life' or 'terrorism' are often misunderstood and may cause confusion. That's why it's recommended to avoid them, even if one of the possible interpretations does correspond to a fact. Similar approach is used here. Why do you have a problem with this approach? Gryllida (chat) 01:03, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Darkfrog24: yes, you are the student of the reviewers here. If you do learn from previous review comments, you may receive more help and support than otherwise. --Gryllida (chat) 01:25, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

EDIT CONFLICT: I am not your student. If you're going to bury your reviewer comments under rudeness and demands that I submit to you, I won't dig through them to see if they might have anything of use to me.
1) I've never seen that link before so I don't know if I have a problem with its contents or not.
2) If this policy really is so important, it should be written down.
3) While "terrorist" is one thing, "statements like 'Barack Obama is a liberal'" appear on nearly every news organization on all sides of the political spectrum without any expectation of misunderstanding or controversy. I picked "on the liberal side of American politics" because it's such a mild, well-understood and accepted term...
4) ...and doing so is completely consistent with our written NPOV policy. So if that's wrong, then the policy needs updating.
5) It feels like whenever people don't like a word that I picked, the person uses it to voice assumptions of bad faith and claim that I must therefore have some kind of character flaw. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:31, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Now that I look at your GNU link, I note that its contents are A) written down and B) specific with lots of examples. Why not do something like that for our NPOV page? Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:40, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
This can be done, perhaps on a separate page. Started User:Gryllida/Common words to avoid. --Gryllida (chat) 03:02, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
"you reviewers are rude" is exposed here, preceded by "I am not your student". This got somehow mixed up. I guess you mean "I do not want to be a student of such (a) rude reviewer(s)"? --Gryllida (chat) 03:01, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
At Wikinews, I am not a student at all, regardless of whether the reviewer is polite or rude.
You say you learn things from other reviewers. That is because you are colleagues. You have things to learn from each other. That is not the power relationship between a teacher and a little child that you seem to expect me to play along with. You do Wikinews and yourselves a disservice when you assume you could not possibly learn anything from me.
Whenever the reviewer is rude to me or just acts like I'm supposed to submit to them the way a small child must submit to a teacher, I have an incentive to disregard their comments so that I don't encourage them to do it again. I feel creeped out. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:23, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
If they politely say "This article does not have 5Ws in the first paragraph. Please resolve this and then re-submit for review." does that make you creeped out? Gryllida (chat) 03:32, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Sorry I want to add: "acts like I'm supposed to submit to them the way a small child must submit to a teacher" is an example of an uncivil behaviour. Why do you separate it from "the reviewer is rude to me"? --Gryllida (chat) 03:33, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Darkfrog24, you say "I am not a student at all" but I think it's more correct to say that you are in a student role here and that you do not want to be in this role. I think also there are different types of students, and you're using the schoolkids (infantalising) version where the intent is more the university-level version. There is a collaboration and cooperativeness about the process of writing and reviewing/being reviewed that is more similar to an adult-adult teacher-student relationship than an adult-child one. Ca2james (talk) 04:00, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I think he feels some of the reviewers comments have been infantalising towards him. I am not sure which. I opened a query about this at his talk page, which may be of interest for others to follow. Gryllida (chat) 04:06, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
If you're asking "You don't mean me too, do you?" Yes I mean you too. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:09, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I see now how the comments could be read that way. I agree that it's inappropriate for reviewers (or anyone, really) to infantilise writers or to be deliberately rude to them. Ca2james (talk) 05:03, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Two small, tentative suggestions. I am open to being shown examples that persuade me otherwise, but I suspect Darkfrog24 is reading rudeness into things where none was put in by the commenter; that sort of thing is, after all, notoriously open to miscues in text-based internet venues. And, possibly, this could be getting support from bad experiences with "teachers". Putting together various remarks, it sounds somewhat as if their conception of a "teacher-student relationship" were one of indoctrination rather like bullying. In my own years of academic education, I was lucky enough to meet several truly excellent teachers (and a very few quite poor ones, and many at various levels between), and I very gradually moved through various stages of junior-colleague status with some of them. Considering how valuable those experiences have been to me, I can see how important they've been to my understanding of how Wikinews functions. --Pi zero (talk) 06:43, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
(Oh, and btw. The etiquette page is actually another one that's been widely perceived for years to need overhauling at some point. Sigh.) --Pi zero (talk) 06:46, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Yes, I agree that some of what has been portrayed as rude is not rude. And that Darkfrog24 appears to have had bad experiences with teachers and possibly other people on positions of authority. Ca2james (talk) 15:02, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

I wanted to mention: teachers learn from students, too. Teachers also learn from little children. It is a two-way process regardless of the age gap (or knowledge gap). Teachers can learn about the content as well as about ways of looking at the content as well as about ways of better teaching. Gryllida (chat) 04:07, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Ca2James, over on the pipe bombing talk page, you said that I shouldn't be asking for Pi zero's sources/policies, you called Pi zero "the actual fount of knowledge here, the one person who knows what they're talking about," as if I couldn't possibly know what I was talking about despite being here for years, and you seemed to think it was inappropriate that I was defending my word choice decisions. It does look like you want me to accept what reviewers tell me without questioning—including what I was thinking and feeling and what my motives were, as if they could not only read my mind but could do it better than I could! That's not university level think-for-yourself. That's "Out in the real world I have to bow and scrape and flatter my boss/teacher and now I'm on Wikinews so you do it to me. ...why aren't you flattering me? ...why aren't you bowing and scraping?" I am not here for that.
I am not a student here. I'm not even the new guy. I am not going to treat any of you like teachers or professors or assume that you're right and I'm wrong just because you say so. It would be best if you stopped expecting me to.
I'll draft articles and if you don't like them, don't publish them. If you don't want to review them, then don't review them. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:04, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Actually if you read what I wrote, I didn't say that you shouldn't argue, only that by doing so, you were pushing the boundaries. I did imply that you should have some respect for people on this project who are way, way, way more experienced than you. But sure, let's talk about the "liberal" argument. The problem is, even if you're right that "liberal" is used elsewhere, it's can be seen as a non-neutral word (even if you don't think it's non-neutral) and so you're wrong that it's ok for use here. It's not the most non-neutral descriptor out there, but it's still non-neutral. Instead of trying to use the least biased language possible, which is part of the goal of wikinews, you argue you're right. Its like you want everyone to respect your arguments without respecting theirs. Arguing to do things your way because it's done that way elsewhere, even if it doesn't jive with the principles here, is the arguing I oppose. Ca2james (talk) 15:02, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I do have respect for them—as colleagues.
I think the part of the "liberal" thing that's relevant to the current conversation is that if we assume you're right and that "liberal" is biased, it's not obvious that it's biased, even to someone who's been contributing here for years. On the same page, Pi zero dismisses the idea that "attempted" is biased because it implies intent. The general consensus in the English-speaking world overall seems to be that "liberal" is okay to use. If there is some rule or practice that classifies "liberal" or any other word as biased under Wikinews' specific vision, then that rule or practice should be written down.
When someone tells me things like "The statement 'Barack Obama is on the liberal side of American politics' is too controversial for Wikinews' voice," even though no other news organization on the planet seems to have a problem with it, I feel like that person went looking for something to complain about, didn't find any real problems, and—maybe subconsciously—made something up. Maybe "Obama's a liberal" wouldn't look non-neutral to that person if they'd been in a different mood.
Written rules would 1) establish that no it has nothing to do with the reviewer's mood and 2) make it harder for any reviewer to make up problems that aren't really there. (The reviewer could still say they want the wording changed or improved, but could no longer complain that the drafter should have magically known their wishes ahead of time.) Both those situations probably occur on Wikinews and written rules dispel them both. Darkfrog24 (talk) 20:52, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Someone who knows US politics may wish to add "liberal" to User:Gryllida/Common words to avoid. You can do it if you wish. Gryllida (chat) 21:40, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
(@Gryllida:, if "liberal" is added, "conservative" (its opposite) should also be added).
Darkfrog24, maybe it isn't obvious to you that "liberal" is not neutral - note that I did not say controversial - because you live in the US? You, like many US citizens, probably have a blind spot with respect to US politics because of the polarization going on there.
Regardless, what's good for use in US politics news is, quite frankly, not good enough here on Wikinews. Wikinews is trying to be better than what's acceptable elsewhere. Do you not know that? Do you see how the two things relate?
Suggesting that other writers and reviewers are looking for things to criticize about your work or that critique depends on mood is not the case (and kind of conspiracy-theory like). You're prickly, yes, but you can write well. If you'd just write in accordance with wikinews principles you could be great here. Instead, by refusing to take on board criticism or other points of view, you're a bit of a time-sink. You imply that if everything was just written down, you'd do it, but honestly I think if it was written down you'd be trying to change it to match how you want things to be done. Ca2james (talk) 22:19, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for the invitation, Gryllida, but I don't think the word "liberal" is non-neutral.
Ca2James, it's not just used in political news sources. It's used in all news sources, including those outside the U.S. This is a case of my believing what I see—the word being used with no problem—over what I'm told.
What writing down Wikinews principles would do, Ca2James, is prove that no one made up any rules in the moment depending on their mood. Yes, I do try to change rules that I think shouldn't be there. You've got me right on that. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:26, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I've retitled the section, then. I hope it reflects the concern a bit better. Gryllida (chat) 00:24, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
I endorse Amgine's recommendation, as I understand it, of ending this. There's nothing further for anyone to accomplish here. Sound and fury. --Pi zero (talk) 00:36, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Do we archive the discussions then? Gryllida (chat) 00:42, 31 October 2018 (UTC)
Fine with me.
It's not like this hasn't been a productive discussion. I think we understand each other's feelings a bit better, and Gryllida has started an essay that may make guideline or policy one day. Darkfrog24 (talk) 11:29, 31 October 2018 (UTC)

NPOV in discussions[edit]

Darkfrog24 and Acagastya: I also would like to add: NPOV does not apply to communication in my view.

1) Communication on talk pages can and should be emotional. Emotions can be:

  • expressed directly to the people who are in charge of the behaviour or system which caused the emotion;
  • suppressed by staying silent and discussing content only;
  • responded to by using a personal attack, or
  • responded to by directing the frustration at a third person

I would say that following NPOV in discussions would correspond to the second option, whereas option number one is more healthy...?

2) "you do not know NPOV and you do not understand teacher-student model" is an opinion. With what intent is it shared? Is that to protect Darkfrog24 from being intimidated by wrong teaching technique? In my view a student may benefit from being told which particular thing they do not understand. I, too, personally think that recent submissions by Darkfrog24 do not follow key principles (NPOV, inverted pyramid, past tense, 5Ws) and they need to analyse their last dozen of submissions and ensure they learn from them.

While there may be some merit in a teacher not saying this to a student, by having the teacher do the analysis by themselves and guide the student learning in bit-sized steps, I believe that

  1. this has already been attempted and has failed, and
  2. there is a benefit from expressing the emotion directly to Darkfrog24 instead of suppressing it, and
  3. new approaches are being sought (which hopefully work better).

--Gryllida (chat) 01:22, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

I think youwe should all should get your emotions out of your system somewhere other than Wikinews. Wikipedia has a "Wikipedia is not therapy" guideline, and perhaps we could use one too.
I'm not only not your student, but I'm also not your punching bag, your therapist, or your dog. Yes, you should vent if you need to but don't do it here. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:37, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Being a student has nothing to do with therapy. The model between reviewers and authors here is that of a teacher and a student (or a mentor and mentoree). The process does not end; today I still learn from the reviewer's comments each time my article is marked not ready. --Gryllida (chat) 02:59, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
1) I'm not your student. I'll repeat that as many times as I feel you need to hear it. You are my colleague and if you ever think that you are right and I am wrong, I will hear you out, but it is on you to convince me, and you must either be polite while you attempt it or refrain from attempting it.
2) You are talking about how to deal with your emotions. You posit here that you should express them to me, as rudely as you want to. I do not think you should do that. The reason I give is that I am not your therapist, punching bag or dog. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:10, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
Rudeness is not an emotion. When it occurs the primary emotion needs to be identified and expressed instead, which can be done politely... --Gryllida (chat) 09:47, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
The policy governing talk pages isn't NPOV; it's WN:ETIQUETTE, and civility was adopted into policy as well. Darkfrog24 (talk) 01:56, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I don't think saying "you don't grok this still" is uncivil. --Gryllida (chat) 02:59, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
If you look at WN:E, you will see a lot of your posts—the one that springs to mind is the one about the pony—under what not to do and a lot of mine under what to do—apologized to the anon for assuming they were the one who moved my post.
It's natural for a website's culture to change over time. Perhaps WN:E needs updating. But I think you should change your talk page posts to match it instead. Darkfrog24 (talk) 03:10, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
I'll deal with the WN:NPOV update first. I haven't read 'WN:E' recently (have more important things to do today) but if it does not say "with any personal issues query the relevant person on their personal talk page" then I would be rather surprised. I do not feel comfortable with frustration being silenced in one place and then expressed in another place, with the latter being different from User talk:Gryllida. --Gryllida (chat) 03:36, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Power dynamics and Wikinews' future[edit]

Scrolling up on this page, I skimmed a few conversations. I posit this: The I'm-the-teacher-you're-the-student dynamic that reviewers expect (but do not always receive) may be one of the reasons so few people want to write drafts here. My own take on this is already established. I think we should ask around. People who've written a few articles and then left, people who've stayed and why, and so on. Darkfrog24 (talk) 12:55, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Some visible flaws there.
  • You're clearly obsessed with the idea that a teacher-student dynamic means bowing and scraping by the student, which for a healthy teacher-student relationship is simply false.
  • You accuse others of rudeness when they don't (ironically) bow and scrape to you. An interesting complement to your (mistaken) claim that others want you to bow and scrape to them. Learning, and a healthy, successful teacher-student relationship, isn't about bowing and scraping, and if someone has given you the impression it was, they've done you a profound disservice.
  • You claim to be an expert because you've been here for so long, but it's quite visible that you substantially stopped developing as a Wikinewsie not too long after you arrived. There's clearly a tangle of reasons for that, but, there it is.
--Pi zero (talk) 14:23, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
There does seem to be a useful insight here that we should probably be studying teaching techniques to try to glean insights for Wikinews infrastructure. Though they'd likely need to be significantly adapted, which means one would have to get deep understanding of them to be able to improvise the necessary adaptations. --Pi zero (talk) 14:36, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
"You're clearly obsessed" Stop pretending that you can read my mind. It's disturbing. If you want to know what I'm thinking and feeling, ask me.
You know perfectly well that that's not why I say people are rude to me. I quoted pretty specifically above.
I didn't stop developing. I stopped obeying. I was only doing it in the first place because I was the new guy then.
Yes, you give me the impression that you want me to bow and scrape to you. Maybe that impression is what's alienating people here. Darkfrog24 (talk) 20:35, 30 October 2018 (UTC)
[oldbie footstomp]. Darkfrog24: You have put considerable time and effort into your arguments of persuasion. How they are received is not something you can further influence. In my opinion you should accept your writing has been received, but the audience has not been persuaded. You need to let it go and work within the project as it is, for now, or put your energies into some other endeavor.
Senior WN: this went on too long, and is now disruptive. And you have continued to engage in this. - Amgine | t 22:13, 30 October 2018 (UTC)

Use CC BY 3.0 and/or CC BY 4.0?[edit]

I asked five months ago whether Wikinews can switch to or add CC BY 4.0 for licensing. There wasn't much response, so I would like to ask again whether the project can do so. Or how about CC BY 3.0? Currently, CC BY 2.5 is used, but I find it less clear and less convenient than later versions especially for "open content" use. I will welcome any comments related to CC BY please. Thanks. --George Ho (talk) 06:44, 4 November 2018 (UTC)

Changing the license that way isn't something Wikinews should be doing; we use a different license because it's appropriate for our function. It's not surprising there wouldn't be much to say about it; it's just that simple. --Pi zero (talk) 13:33, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
How is version 2.5 more suitable than later versions? Is it more similar or what? --George Ho (talk) 19:03, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Clarifying slightly: en.WN is licensed CC-BY 2.5. Current CC-BY licenses are backwards compatible; items licensed under 2.5 may be relicensed under 3.0 or 4.0 without altering the rights previously granted. Later versions are notably more global, more readable (in the code), and more explicit (in 4.0) in allowing attribution via a specified url (which is en.WN practice even though not perfectly clearly supported in 2.5 or 3.0.) - Amgine | t 19:26, 4 November 2018 (UTC)
Section 2(b) of CC BY 4.0 explicitly says to either waive or agree not to assert most of moral rights "to the limited extent necessary to allow You to exercise the Licensed Rights, but not otherwise." Previous versions either are vague on or do not explicitly mention moral rights. --George Ho (talk) 20:10, 4 November 2018 (UTC)