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.

Corrections versus updates[edit]

I was clearing through the {{editprotected}} backlog today, which included appending {{correction}} a couple of times (and I did a contemporary article while I was added). It got me thinking, so I dug in the archive for a bit and found some inconsistency. In Isolated native tribe discovered in Brazil we clearly, and inaccurately, stated a new discovery. That was dealt with by an {{update}} template. Likewise Norwegian police lower death toll in massacre. But in Ukranian manufacturer preparing to sell Adolf Hitler dolls, an admittedly more serious case of factual inaccuracy, we issued a correction linking to the new article. The question, therefore, is which should we prefer? BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 16:34, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Looking around, I also see Apollo Moon landings tapes reported missing as an example somewhere in the middle. That was also handled by {{correction}}. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 16:41, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Some thoughts.
  • I think if we actually get it wrong we clearly should issue a correction. We want to inform anyone who looks at that article in our archives. We can and should attribute claims if we suspect current reports may be less than solid (as with the recent article about the gunman on the train in Belgium, where I'm kicking myself that I didn't inject more attribution during review); and if we don't, and the info turns out to have been wrong, we need to issue a correction. All the more reason for us to take full advantage of the wonderful tool of attribution.
  • The use of the update template seems to me a separate issue. I think there's plenty of room for us to use it more often than we do before we'd be in any danger of over-using it.
  • The first article you mention, Isolated native tribe discovered in Brazil, seems to me to call for a correction, but probably not much of one.
--Pi zero (talk) 16:58, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
The articles using {{update}} are self-evidently wrong based on the updated articles' titles. Of course, those are less visible in two respects (placed much lower, and less aggressive colouring). Not sure if that's a sufficient correction for the purposes of avoiding the correction template. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 18:17, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Mm. It does seem one would need something both at the top and more prominent. --Pi zero (talk) 19:22, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
I've bitten the bullet and issued them. BRS (Talk) (Contribs) 20:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Trolling in trollspace[edit]

I've just blocked an obvious trolling account and nuked its comment on User:Cirt's Ahmed Mohamed article. For once the identification of trolling in comments space was straightforward. However, I'd like to invite thoughts from the community on another recent incident that raises the trolling question more generally.

Back in March, User:Soumia Er made a comment at Comments:Zayn Malik leaves pop band One Direction after five years,

Oh my god! Zayn was my favorite member and now he's gone. I don't know about the other directioners but in my opinion One Direction should be untied as a five member british-Irish boyband because we love all about One Direction. I respect Zayn's choice !! and I hope for Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam all the best.

This drew a nasty, trolling response, and the situation snowballed until finally on September 4 Soumia Er blanked the original comment after first attempting a deletion tag with reason

I gave my opinion on this article. And all i get was hate replies. So i want to remove it please it is my comment so it won't hurt anyone

I felt very sad about that. We do call comments space "trollspace" because we want to be very permissive about allowing people with all kinds of opinions to weigh in (usually we cite the example of an interview with a neo-Nazi for this), but here a thoroughly permissive approach to negative comments has had the opposite effect of discouraging comment. It seems to me we should be able to do better. I'm looking for a principle to use to draw the line for such comments. Cf. WN:Comment Space.

Thoughts? --Pi zero (talk) 14:25, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure what the next concrete step forward is, but I strongly agree with the overall sentiment by Pi zero, above, and agree with his recent actions. Thank you. -- Cirt (talk) 15:29, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
I have a wide array of opinions about this matter, but I tend to lean toward the 'hands off' approach when it comes to editing the work of even those pesky little trolls! --Bddpaux (talk) 21:04, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Here's a classic:
Chris Mooney. "The Science of Why Comment Trolls Suck" — Mother Jones, January 10, 2013
--Pi zero (talk) 22:23, 4 November 2015 (UTC)