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Reliable Sources Noticeboard editors discuss deprecating sources

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There were many discussions this month about the practice of deprecating sources deemed to be extremely unreliable (i.e. caught multiple times fabricating stories). Deprecated sources are strongly discouraged from being used in articles and may not be used to establish notability.[a] As proposals to deprecate additional sources stacked up, other editors weren't so sure.

Administrators: ending with a whimper?

2018 saw half as many RfAs as 2017, though a higher percentage were successful.

Wikipedia_talk:Requests_for_adminship/Archive_252#Nine was a lively conversation for November and the first week of December, concerning the new record low nine admins recruited this year (now ten, still a record low). The conversation petered out without any plan for action. B

Other discussions this month


  1. ^ This is often misleadingly called "banning" sources; only a very small number of possible sources, such as Breitbart and InfoWars have been formally banned via en entry on the spam blacklist.
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Fake news alert: those passing by might like to compare the Signpost's coverage of the Daily Mail story with what has actually been said at RS/N [1]. Many have argued the ban should never have been promulgated in the first place. I suppose the most straightforward approach would be just to ask the authors: "Why didn't you report this?" It's there in black and white (and sometimes turquoise) in the page you were covering.

As an aside, it is extremely misleading not to call a "general prohibition" a ban. As I understand it the Daily Mail can only be used as a source about its own reporting, a luxury of verifiability which apparently "banned" outlets are not even permitted. ~ 🐝 ~ SashiRolls t · c 16:44, 25 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]

Out of 94 !votes so far in the current RfC, 26 !voted to overturn the ban, 68 !voted to uphold the ban. and 1 !voted to retain the ban for everying in the past but to overturn it going forward.
The most common overturn reasoning was that they just got a new editor who pinkie promises to make The Daily Mail a reliable source Real Soon Now.
--Guy Macon (talk) 21:22, 25 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Guy, are you sure you counted right? I could have sworn I remembered one character voting "Kill it! Kill it with fire!" Which of your columns did that go in?
PS: I invite anyone(s) to peruse the Yes/Support votes to check out the facts being distorted above. I read over 20 such votes that said nothing whatsoever about the DM being better or worse now, just that the ban was dumb (not everyone was careful enough to say "in the first place" and not everyone spoke of the problem of cabal autoritah, though a few did...) In short I read one or two "yes lift the ban" comments saying what this Signpost article says they did, and 20 saying something very different. That's all I wanted to point out.
Here is a slightly indirect link to the article "What Wikipedia's Daily Mail 'Ban' Tells Us About The Future Of Online Censorship" written by Kalev Leetaru for your consideration. ~ 🐝 ~ SashiRolls t · c 21:49, 25 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]
If you have trouble interpreting something like "Kill it. Kill it with fire. The preceding sentence is based 100% on the demonstrated unreliability of The Daily Mail" as supporting the existing consensus From the RfC at Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 220#Daily Mail RfC, you should avoid making comments about the results of RfCs. --Guy Macon (talk) 03:22, 26 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]

"Apparent left-wing bias in deprecating mostly right-wing sources"

This caught my attention: "apparent left-wing bias in deprecating mostly right-wing sources (out of the 5 deprecated/banned sources on WP:RSP, only Occupy Democrats is listed on as left-wing)". I've previously avoided discussing Ad Fontes Media's "Media Bias Chart: Version 4.0", since it's a self-published source. However, assuming the chart is accurate, a close look at the low-quality publications in the chart reveals why most of the currently deprecated sources have a right-wing bias.

The following is a list of the sources in the Red Rectangle ("Nonsense damaging to public discourse"), which includes sources that fit these classifications: "Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info", "Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info", and the lower half of "Selective or Incomplete Story; Unfair Persuasion". All sources with an "Overall Quality" score of 19 or lower are included in the chart. (The raw data is available at

Source Status at WP:RSP Overall Quality Political Bias Alexa Rank Uses
Daily Mail (MailOnline) Deprecated 19 Selective or Incomplete Story; Unfair Persuasion 13 Skews Right 197 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Breitbart News Deprecated 8 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 34 Most Extreme Right 259 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
The Daily Caller No consensus 12 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 24 Hyper-Partisan Right 743 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
The Daily Wire N/A 16 Selective or Incomplete Story; Unfair Persuasion 28 Hyper-Partisan Right 2,700 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
InfoWars Deprecated 1 Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info 44 Most Extreme Right 3,412 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
2 HTTPS links HTTP links
3 HTTPS links HTTP links
WorldNetDaily (WND) Deprecated 4 Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info 36 Most Extreme Right 4,897 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
2 HTTPS links HTTP links
The Gateway Pundit N/A 12 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 35 Most Extreme Right 5,797 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
TheBlaze (Blaze Media) Generally unreliable 8 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 27 Hyper-Partisan Right 6,642 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
AlterNet Generally unreliable 18 Selective or Incomplete Story; Unfair Persuasion -23 Hyper-Partisan Left 14,007 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Twitchy N/A 14 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 29 Hyper-Partisan Right 15,499 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Palmer Report N/A 8 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info -34 Most Extreme Left 17,879 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
RedState N/A 11 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 29 Hyper-Partisan Right 25,295 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Guacamoley N/A 17 Selective or Incomplete Story; Unfair Persuasion -20 Hyper-Partisan Left 28,289 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Wonkette N/A 12 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info -34 Most Extreme Left 44,023 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
National Enquirer Generally unreliable 6 Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info 10 Skews Right 95,781 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Bipartisan Report N/A 13 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info -27 Hyper-Partisan Left 132,478 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
David Wolfe N/A 2 Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info -32 Most Extreme Left 156,314 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
WorldTruth.TV N/A 1 Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info 20 Hyper-Partisan Right 199,437 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Patribotics N/A 1 Contains Inaccurate/Fabricated Info -40 Most Extreme Left 375,449 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
2 HTTPS links HTTP links
Occupy Democrats Deprecated 9 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info -30 Hyper-Partisan Left 1,102,908 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Forward Progressives N/A 15 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info -25 Hyper-Partisan Left 5,147,500 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
Conservative Tribune N/A 12 Propaganda/Contains Misleading Info 35 Most Extreme Right N/A 1 HTTPS links HTTP links
2 HTTPS links HTTP links

Note: There is a discrepancy with Ad Fontes Media's data table and chart. PJ Media had an "Overall Quality" score ("Vertical Rank") of 17 ("Selective or Incomplete Story; Unfair Persuasion") in the table, but its position in the chart is around 27 ("Opinion; Fair Persuasion"). I excluded PJ Media from the above list.

When the list is sorted by "Alexa Rank", it's clear that among low-quality sources, the websites with the highest traffic are right-wing sources. Assuming that Ad Fontes Media analyzed all of the most popular publications, it's reasonable to conclude that, due to their popularity, low-quality far-right sources are more likely to be discussed and deprecated on WP:RSN than low-quality far-left sources.

If you're interested in this topic, there is another active discussion at WP:RSN § Why are more right wing sources considered unreliable than left-wing sources?. I'll repost this list in that discussion. — Newslinger talk 14:12, 26 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The issue with the Daily Mail is primarily one of bias: specifically of certain editors against the paper. It is true that The Sun is less reliable, and that the Mail's web-site is pretty useless, containing as it does mostly syndicated stories. However, those that understand the British press have a good idea of where the Mail could be considered a reasonably reliable source and where it cannot. In many circumstances (for example age of people) the whole of the British press has a bad reputation, while for inaccuracy in spelling the Guardian is best known. The I magazine regularly mixes up millions and billions, and makes other egregious errors. While it is true that the broadsheets are in general more reliable than the tabloids, neither the distinction nor the scope are clear cut. All the best: Rich Farmbrough, 14:42, 31 December 2018 (UTC).[reply]

Rf A Action!

Since publication there's been a desparate sprint for RfA in the end of the year with 1 candidate finishing up just in time, and another kicking off. Still would be 4 off, though...anyone else feeling like too many people like them? Nosebagbear (talk) 00:00, 31 December 2018 (UTC)[reply]

I am not sure what you are implying. --Guy Macon (talk) 07:10, 5 January 2019 (UTC)[reply]


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