The Signpost

From the Signpost team

How The Signpost is documenting the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine

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By EpicPupper

The Signpost's commitment to inform, entertain and publish to the Wikimedia movement becomes even more critical in times of crisis. The ongoing invasion of Ukraine has already caused unimaginable pain and suffering and impacted millions. Yet in times of upheaval, from pandemics to political turmoil to natural disasters, Wikimedians come together in the service of our collective mission. People are coming to the Wikimedia projects to learn facts, and Wikimedians around the world are collaborating to share their knowledge. Contributors are helping however they can, from documenting the crisis in over 100 languages, to ensuring that coverage of Ukraine and Russia-related articles is thorough, to assisting other users who need support.

The Signpost team stands in solidarity with the communities–those directly affected in the conflicts and all others who work to protect access to free knowledge. We are also working to document and unearth as much as we can about the war and those affected, publishing reports on disinformation, spotlighting the voices of those impacted, and much more. Please share any suggestions or tips at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Suggestions or by emailing the editor-in-chief privately. Submissions can be posted at Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/Newsroom/Submissions. We thank the community for their suggestions to this date.

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NPOV dispute

We stand in solidarity with Ukraine ... WHAT?

Ever heard of WP:NPOV?

I think it is very likely that the overwhelming majority of Wikipedia editors do indeed support Ukraine. But NPOV is a core policy, and our job as neutral editors is to report accurately what the reliable secondary sources say, not to cheerlead for one side. Taking sides in an armed conflict undermines our core mission, and this partisan piece should be promptly retracted.

And before anyone tries accusing me of being a Putin-apologist or similar, let me absolutely clear that I personally regard all invasions as criminals acts, including the current invasion of Ukraine. But as a Wikipedia editor, I set my views aside. My objection here is simply that Wikipedia is not the place to to take stands for or against what we regard as great wrongs.

I am horrified that those who create the Signpost have so flagrantly trampled over one of our core policies. Wikipedia is not a soapbox. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:00, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Said it better than I could have. I was delayed looking for my jaw. Have I stumbled into some satirical imitation of Wikipedia, or is this a misguided attempt at humour? Please, retract it. Gog the Mild (talk) 21:07, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Agreed in full. Departing from our traditional neutral stance does not look good, either, in the realm of public relations, especially when we base ourselves in the belief that knowledge creates community, instead of dividing it. I request a retraction of this article, too. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 21:26, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hey, how about a milder proposal- a rename of the piece? For example, to something like "We stand in solidarity with free knowledge?" Firestar464 (talk) 06:41, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No. We don’t need more options on the table. Dronebogus (talk) 06:59, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Why is that? The editors seem divided between two positions- why not propose a third one to meet in the middle? Firestar464 (talk) 01:03, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
While I agree with you now, there’s no point anymore since the result was a unilateral blank-and-replace from the Signpost team. Dronebogus (talk) 01:36, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This in specific is from the team or staff at The Signpost. We are allowed in a newspaper to express our opinions. This is an editorial space, not a Wikipedia article. As far as I can determine every staff member and contributor feels the same way. But it goes beyond that. There are things that we "can't be neutral about" e.g if we see somebody torture an animal most of us will speak out - forget academic views on neutrality. It's just wrong and we should say so. But it's beyond that. We look at our readers - other Wikipedians of all kinds. Let that include the official WMF view as well. What I see is a consensus that thr Russian invasion is just wrong - we stand in solidarity with the Uktainian people. I also see many of our Russian colleagues on Wikipedia. They are saying much the same thing even when they face a 15 year prison term for saying it. I stand with them and especially with Mark Bernstein as well.

Please, let's try to be as neutral as possible when writing encyclopedia article. Without of course making a false equivalence for distinctly minority view. But also let Signpostewrs, and all other Wikipedians express their opinions on these pages. Smallbones(smalltalk) 21:35, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

I never think it is appropriate to use Signpost to express your political biases. Yes, I know that for whatever reason this cause is popular right now. Still, nobody asked you for this slacktivism. Chris Troutman (talk) 21:42, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Chris Troutman is harsh, but correct. I don't think it the right place or the right venue, especially as The Signpost is effectively held out to represent all Wikipedia editors. Javert2113 (Siarad.|¤) 21:51, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This is ... way beyond what the Signpost needs to be doing. It may not utterly violate our article guidelines, but it's really not what the Signpost should be doing - it's supposed to be news about Wikipedia, not political stand taking. If you want to run a true newspaper - go elsewhere. Ealdgyth (talk) 22:01, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

This violation of Wikipedia's neutrality will give a boat-load of ammunition to detractors who claim that Wikipedia editors have a liberal agenda. Damage control time. Erase this article.Smallchief (talk) 22:08, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

@Smallchief, a quick glance at WP:NPOV would tell you that it only applies to "encyclopaedic content". The Signpost is not that, and has always been an opinionated editorial. I don't understand why people are so outraged over this. Quite frankly, the writers of The Signpost can do what they want within our policies and community consensus.
Also, how on earth is condemning war crimes and the invasion of sovereign Ukrainian territory by a crazy dictator a sign of a "liberal agenda"? ✨ Ed talk! ✨ 22:15, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The way Wikipedia should approach the worst of human behavior is by sticking to our rules of neutrality and reliability, not by being advocates for anybody or anything. Smallchief (talk) 23:21, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
As a community and for the main project, absolutely! I totally agree. However, consensus says otherwise especially for unofficial, non-encyclopaedic content outside of article space, which makes sense too. My opinion is as The Signpost is not official and is just a group of editors who can happily express their opinions, as it's clear it is the POV of the editorial team, it's above board in an NPOV regard. ✨ Ed talk! ✨ 23:46, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What I think is that this article expressing support for Ukraine is more likely to be damaging to both Wikipedia and Ukraine than it is to be helpful. The first thing a dictator in trouble (read Putin) does is to find foreign enemies to rally their people behind them in support of the "sacred homeland." There are plenty of places to express your opinion of Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. I see no benefit in an official Wikipedia publication joining in the condemnation of Putin and Russia. One hopes that this article dies unnoticed. Smallchief (talk) 00:06, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Smallchief, the Signpost is not official and is simply a group of editors. The official WMF stance is very much the same, [1]. ✨ Ed talk! ✨ 00:19, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The WMF defended the right of Wikipedia to publish reliable information about the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It didn't say, "we stand in solidarity with Ukraine." Smallchief (talk) 00:37, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The Signpost isn’t WMF, and is also less likely to piss off Russia than the WMF. Basically “if they can do it, so can we” Dronebogus (talk) 00:40, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Even if the former takes a stronger stance than the latter, which is reasonable considering the power disparity. Dronebogus (talk) 00:43, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
All these negative comments are in incredibly bad faith as far as I can tell. WP:NPOV is not absolute, and saying you oppose an unprovoked war that almost the entire international community has condemned is probably one of the tamest violations of the policy I can imagine. Dronebogus (talk) 22:20, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, WP:NPOV is absolute. No exceptions. Otherwise you have a soapbox, not an encyclopedia. Smallchief (talk) 22:48, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It is absolute in regards to articles, not absolute in regards to literally everything. NPOV applies to the encyclopedia and ONLY the encyclopedia. Dronebogus (talk) 23:25, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Smallchief, it is not outside of article space, and even if it was WP:IAR is a thing which means that no policy is absolute. ✨ Ed talk! ✨ 20:53, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Time for the inevitable discussion of whether a rule that refers to all rules refers to itself and what that would mean for its application. Dronebogus (talk) 11:00, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The editorial team of the Signpost deserves an apology for this WP:UNCIVIL abuse and attempted coercive censorship of non-objectionable content by readers who simply don’t like it. Dronebogus (talk) 22:31, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What the heck are you talking about? People are allowed to say if they think a Signpost article sucks. I mean, they're even allowed to nominate a Signpost article at MfD: this has happened eleven times before. The sky did not fall then, and it's not falling now. jp×g 22:52, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
True, but many of the comments I’m seeing appear to be near-personal attacks in reference to a clearly good-faith, if possibly misguided, article. Dronebogus (talk) 23:28, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The other successful deletions seem to be mostly technical, with the one exception being an extremely poor taste “humor” page. In general there’s no precedent to delete Signpost pages purely on a basis of “I hate this”. Dronebogus (talk) 07:03, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Dronebogus: please retract your allegation of bad faith.
If criticising political POV soapboxing is "uncivil" and "abuse" and "coercive", I am a banana. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs)
It is very possible for criticising political POV soapboxing to be "uncivil" and "abuse" and "coercive" AND for you to be a banana. On the Internet nobody knows you’re a dog and all that. Dronebogus (talk) 23:37, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If any of the above criticism is "uncivil", "abuse", or "coercive", then I'm a coconut. The Signpost is treading on thin ice with such a political issue (the most political single issue I've ever seen), and it has wandered far off its scope, which is to present news relevant to Wikipedia. Most of the critics here have made valid points, and you have to admit that this probably wasn't one of the team's wisest decisions, especially given Putin's ability to block Wikipedia with the snap of his fingers. - ZLEA T\C 23:55, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Putin could’ve blocked Wikipedia without this article existing, or he could block it now for some totally unrelated reason. Nobody knows what’s going on in that guy’s head, and we shouldn’t scapegoat the Signpost for whatever crazy shit he does next. Dronebogus (talk) 00:11, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The point is that we shouldn't poke the bear. While it is possible (maybe inevitable) that Russia will block Wikipedia in the near future, every time the Signpost or some other well known group of Wikipedians speaks out "in solidarity" against Russia, it brings that possibility that much closer to becoming reality. If a group of Wikipedians want to express their opinions, each of them can do so on their userpages or even outside Wikipedia. I'll repeat what so many others have already said here, Wikipedia is not to be used as a soapbox. - ZLEA T\C 00:28, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The kind of self-censorship you advocate is effective precisely because Putin doesn't have to lift a finger to accomplish it. You're doing it for him. —David Eppstein (talk) 06:06, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Good point Dronebogus (talk) 11:01, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I feel like it’s almost a matter of “not if but when”, but I still think an article on ENGLISH Wikipedia isn’t Putin’s first priority. Dronebogus (talk) 11:02, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Dronebogus, so you believe that a banana can edit an encyclopedia.
Good luck with that. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:21, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I said it was possible, not that it was likely Dronebogus (talk) 00:27, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Given sufficient time a banana editing Wikipedia will spontaneously appear in the void via random entropy decrease. Dronebogus (talk) 01:15, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A milder rebuke. Yes, it is clearly an editorial expressing staff feelings rather than an encyclopedia article or even a news story. Still, better to go more softly. Yes, the side that it backs is the side that is right in the dispute, and the other side is callously and foolishly endangering Ukraine, Europe and the world. Still better to go more softly. Jim.henderson (talk) 22:38, 27 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's not that we don't realize that it is an editorial, we recognize that this editorial is overstepping the scope of the Signpost (the de facto official newsletter of Wikipedia) and potentially jeopardizing the availability of Wikipedia, one of the last sources of the truth available, to the Russians. - ZLEA T\C 01:17, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not saying it's the "second-most powerful force in Wikimedia", but it is fairly well known outside of Wikipedia and has had attention from the press in the past. - ZLEA T\C 03:30, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Al-Qaeda isn't exactly a world power that can cut off access to the truth to millions of people in the largest country on the planet. Russia is, so what good is poking the bear going to do if it could lead to the last speck of truth being taken away from the Russian people? The Wikipedia should be doing everything it can to ensure the Russians have access to the truth. Editorials like this are counterproductive. We already know that Putin would block Wikipedia, and it's a miracle he hasn't done it a month after launching an invasion of Ukraine. - ZLEA T\C 03:30, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If it’s a “miracle” then once again why are we blaming the Signpost, a very modestly famous “local paper”, in advance for triggering Putin? Dronebogus (talk) 05:19, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I would be more concerned that the Kremlin bunch already knows that "anybody can edit" includes them and their leader. Like maybe they can create whatever online IDs of their own and edit Wikipedia in ways that don't immediately raise suspicions of who those editors are. Just saying ... better to use the outlet than shut it down. — Maile (talk) 11:26, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Russia has blocked Wikipedia before, when they could have just edited it instead. Also, no one is blaming anybody in advance, we are just condemning the Signpost's irresponsible actions which could potentially endanger the availability of the truth to the people who need to hear it the most. - ZLEA T\C 12:52, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If The Signpost ran an article which said "We at The Signpost officially denounce Al-Qaeda and their horrific attack on the great nation of the United States", I would be about as annoyed as I am about this and probably post about the same response as I did below. Endwise (talk) 13:56, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Maile66: Wikipedia did exist in 2001. After the attacks there was a big discussion about whether every victim in the 9/11 attack should have an article. Also that event brought a lot of people into Wikipedia to discuss. I wish we had capacity to organize a story about that early history. I was not around but I read what I could find in archives; none of it is sorted or easy to identify. Disasters are the source of a lot of Wikipedia precedent. Bluerasberry (talk) 18:17, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It would be very easy for someone to assume that the Signpost is the official newsletter of Wikipedia. If the Signpost insists on having editorials on political issues which do not directly affect Wikipedia, then there should be a notice at the top of the page clarifying that the Signpost is unaffiliated with WMF and that any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of WMF or the Wikipedia community as a whole. - ZLEA T\C 14:08, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"issues which do not directly affect Wikipedia" This issue directly affects Wikipedia. HTH Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:06, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
In this case, that's more reason to not post this editorial. There are times when the Signpost should get involved in politics which directly affect it, but there are also times when getting involved would do more harm than good. This is one of the latter. What does this editorial accomplish other than further jeopardize the Russians' access to Wikipedia and the truth in general? Do the benefits of posting this editorial outweigh the costs? - ZLEA T\C 15:13, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I agree with "the Signpost is unaffiliated with WMF and that any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of WMF or the Wikipedia community as a whole", (though I would be surprised if any Wikipedian is siding with Russia rn), though I don't think "which do not directly affect Wikipedia" is true. The whole reason this is covered is because of its effects on Wikipedia. An editor was literally arrested for editing.
We're also not jeopardizing Russians' access to Wikipedia. Russian civilians deserve accurate information on the war, what is actually happening, and I don't think we mentioned somewhere in this issue "Oh fuck the Russians, yes even the villagers, we must suppress information from them, make the govt censor Wikipedia!" We must be high on pot to do that; I don't even do pot. We're not condemning all Russian civilians, nor are we condemning or condoning anyone. Even if Russia eventually blocks Wikipedia, it would most likely be driven by the invasion article rather than this publication, which receives merely 1K average readership for the past few years. We don't even get a mention on the Main Page. Statistics have also shown that Russians are smart enough to use VPNs. Even without that, I fail to see how the Signpost will tremendously affect Wikipedia's access in Russia.
Solidarity, especially towards editors who are in the most vulnerable places, should be highlighted. It's a semi-official newspaper, sure, call it what you want. But we're not doing a political movement, and as a semi-opinionated publication... yes, opinionated. After all, if a paper covers on the damages Ukraine has suffered, does that mean they're being biased or starting a movement? If a paper expresses solidarity in a way that is right, morally and journalistically, does that mean they're in the wrong? Does that mean they're counterproductive? I don't understand how it's an issue, I just fail to see how. We're doing what's right: using the NPOV exemption we have here to highlight Wikipedia's commitment to truthful information in the encyclopedic mainspace. GeraldWL 17:11, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think I have that impression because I see The Signpost posted at the top of my watchlist every month as a Watchlist notice, along with other quite official important messages like RfAs and Universal Code of Conduct voting. At least in my mind, that gives it status as the semi-official newspaper of the English Wikipedia community. Endwise (talk) 14:28, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly. Let's stop pretending it doesn't have at least de facto official status while it is given the same treatment as actual official news. - ZLEA T\C 14:34, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Full hypothetical context. Hitler had not yet blocked Wikipedia in Germany, so Germans still had a little access to the truth. The Allied media commended the Wikipedia community for standing in solidarity against the Nazi regime. Hitler saw this and then blocked Wikipedia in Germany for "spreading anti-German lies". (Disclaimer: obviously, none of this is to be taken as historical fact, just a what-if scenario to demonstrate why the above comment is missing the point). - ZLEA T\C 16:02, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Continuing this hypothetical: Signpost volunteers decry Nazism thereby alienating other editors who are America First types. Of course, we don't care about our fellow editors if they disagree with us FDR-voters because this isn't an encyclopedia so much as a hang-out for over-educated under-employed folks who acculturated lefty values. The next month, Signpost volunteers likewise stand in support of the Soviet Union and Comrade Stalin's brave fight against the Germans in Eastern Europe. Stalin's Russia has no internet and likely never will but escapees from Soviet villages, many of whom are persecuted Jews, are aghast at Wikipedia's alliance with the Soviets as so many overseas languish and die. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:14, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure what point you're trying to make, but this isn't about NPOV as much as it is about preventing further censorship of Wikipedia. Sure, the editorial might not break any policies or guidelines, but just because we can do something doesn't mean we should. We have to consider the consequences of our actions here. We may think it's a good idea to stand in solidarity with one side of the conflict, but doing so could lead to further censorship of the truth. If Putin decides to block Wikipedia anyway, then we can afford to stand in solidarity because there would be little to no consequences, but in the meantime we shouldn't be giving Putin any more excuses to censor us. - ZLEA T\C 16:38, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What tyrants do in their own countries doesn't concern me, sad as human suffering is. Most autocrats have to control media because their regimes are illegitimate; Wikipedia can expect to be censored by any such regime unless we catered to those dictators' preferences. My concern is that Wikipedia has a wide diversity of editors and the readership doesn't appreciate this publication seemingly speaking for them nor should our editing anywhere alienate our fellow editors. It seems to me our encyclopedia is best when everyone dispassionately writes articles without making foolish ideological statements whether in an article, on a talk page, or even on our respective user pages. If you want to spout your beliefs, go join a club that would listen. It's not appropriate here as it will only divide, not unite us. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:56, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Wow. Godwin’s Law. Really? Dronebogus (talk) 21:59, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This thread is creating like its own mythology here. Dronebogus (talk) 04:52, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

A reminder that WP:NPOV applies to articles in the mainspace. Not editorials, essays, project space, community newspaper, the Wikimedia movement in general, etc... Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 16:59, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

People who want to complain that Wikipedia has a "liberal bias" will do so regardless of what we say. We get accused all the time of failing to be "neutral" because we refuse to take a middle position between facts and nonsense. Oh, look, it's an unrelated link to our biography of Larry Sanger. XOR'easter (talk) 17:30, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

XOR seems to be saying that because some wingnuts made unfounded criticisms of Wikipedia as biased, we should respond by explicitly asserting a bias.
That is very odd logic. Its effect is to hand the wingnuts some real ammunition to replace their blanks. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:14, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
BHG, out of everyone in this discussion, critical and non, you’re the only one who seems convinced this is going to RUIN WIKIPEDIA FOREVER. Even ZLEA is only saying it might get WP blocked in Russia. Dronebogus (talk) 10:54, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Placing absolute neutralism at one of the worst modern man-made militaristic catastrophies means siding with the aggressors. 1233 ( T / C 07:20, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The disclaimer

Thanks to @EpicPupper: for adding[2] a disclaimer to the top of the article, and for pinging me in the process.

The disclaimer is a indication of good intent, but only a tiny sign. And overall, I think it a major mistake.

Yes, it gives the rest of the community some theoretical deniability, which is welcome. However, that sort of disclaimer has at best a legalistic effect, being something that might sway the outcome if the matter even ended up in legal proceedings. But I see no possibility of any legal proceedings from any direction (and I hope that's how it is), so that effect is irrelevant.

The impact of a news article or op-ed is not measured in legal terms. Its impact is in how it is perceived publicly, by whatever audience sees it or hears about it. Those perceptions are not formed is the same way as the precise weighing of legal assessments and court judgements. Public perceptions are rough-and ready, often hasty and incomplete, and often driven by first impressions. These judgement are often more emotional than rational.

In the court of public opinion, you don't get to cross-examine the public or demand re-readings or argue over nuance or the small print of disclaimers. I worked for decades in political communication, and repeatedly saw how messaging rarely had any impact beyond the simple outline. That fact was used very powerfully by GW Bush's aide Karl Rove, whose dictum "If you're explaining you're losing" was the basis of a powerful political strategy of repeatedly forcing the opponent to explain, thereby making them repeatedly lose.

So it is in this case. Once you gotta explain the message's origin in the way that has been done here, you are losing. You are effectively conceding the point that the message is problematic, and hoping that the small print will rescue you ... but the small print has little impact.

The big picture is the simple one: an article hosted on en.wp's servers, with an en.wp URL, takes an unambiguously partisan stance on a major political issue, and has an unambiguously partisan headline. The rest is weaselly detail which most people will ignore.

Any campaigner or political operator opposed to Wikipedia will now be rubbing their hands with glee at how The Signpost has dug itself deeper into the mire, and handed a gift to its enemies. It would be very very simple to ruthlessly exploit this naive disclaimer as another tool to attack Wikipedia.

But I am not an opponent. I am a long-serving Wikipedian with huge devotion to this project, and I hate seeing Wikipedia weakened in this way.

The old rule is "when you're in a hole, stop digging". This disclaimer is just digging deeper into the hole. The remedy remains very simple: retract the op-ed, and replace it with a simple apology for taking a political stance which is way beyond the legitimate remit of a community newsletter. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 19:39, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

100 percent agree with Brown Haired Girl. No matter how compelling and heart-felt your opinion is, Wikipedia is not a soapbox. The Signpost is part of Wikipedia, and no attempt at denial will make one whit of difference to Wikipedia critics. Smallchief (talk) 20:23, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Wikipedia is not a soapbox, no, but like WP:SOAPBOX says, "This applies to usernames, articles, drafts, categories, files, talk page discussions, templates, and user pages." Project pages are not listed there because it is perfectly acceptable for the Signpost and other project newsletters to have such opinion pieces. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 03:41, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
BHG, I fully understand where you are coming from and you have my full and complete agreement if you are talking about article space. Outside of that, your arguments really get weaker every time you try to elaborate on them and forcing users and consequently user groups to be neutral in their own writings is extremely counter productive. Reading some of your arguments is like a big nothing burger. Sometimes, I can't decipher what exactly it is what you want other than this article gone; except, in that case, it would set a president for everything in terms of neutrality outside of article space. Either way, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
Your wording brings up many questions, so for the sake of argument, I'll raise this. You mention "partisan stance[s] on a major political issue[s]" and imply that they shouldn't be anywhere on enwiki. However, in a userbox on your talk page it is mentioned that you support "gender neutral language". Should that be erased? Many people see that as a major political issue. You might not. Who is the arbitrator of "major political issues"? Let's get ridiculous now, and how about we get more mainspace policies involved? Who knows you support gender neutral language? Do you have a citation for that? Does your userpage meet the notability requirements? What could people think if they saw a user page without citations!
How is you saying you support gender neutral language (as the expression of an opinion) any different to an unofficial group of users saying they condemn the invasion of Ukraine? It's not an official stance, it's not in article space, everyone knows it's not official and is simply an unofficial publication? If you're speaking from a PR point of view, in that care, who cares? This isn't a controversial opinion in the vast majority of the world.
Should we get rid of every essay because they're not always neutral?
On a more pressing note:
"The disclaimer is [an] indication of good intent, but only a tiny sign."
I do not make these allegations lightly, but this really seems like you're assuming bad faith, or at least implying bad intent. I hate to bring this up, but BHG, have you not learnt from your desysoping and arbitration sanctions? You were desysopped in part for almost exactly this. You are being so accusatory and in many ways just mean towards the Signpost team in a way that is shockingly uncivil. Forum shopping, assuming bad faith, referencing policies that are quite clearly for encyclopaedic content and not discussing before immediately going for the propose deletion button... I wonder how different thing would have been if you were still an administrator. I am sorry, but this entire debacle has pushed you into the realms of violating WP:CIR and WP:CIV. You need to take a step back.
This whole thing has put undue pressure on a user group for a conversation that would be otherwise not very controversial, and the disclaimer really is a common sense one which I don't think The Signpost should've added, but I understand it given all the chaos. This discussion would be nothing, but I think it has revealed a more pressing issue with you in regards to civility. ✨ Ed talk! ✨ 20:52, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ed, I have seen many absurdisms in these discussions, many of them from you.
But none of them are as absurd as your attempt to equate these two items:
  • my userbox about a stylistic issue in how to write the encyclopedia
  • a political statement of allegiance to one side of a war in the banner headline of the lead article in the community newsletter.
These are completely different types of issue. In order to build an enycylopedia, Wikipedians have to make decisions about writing style. But taking sides in a war is nothing to do with building an encyclopedia: it is just political grandstanding.
I see no way in which a competent editor acting in good faith could equate those two things as you have done here.
On top of that absurd conflation, you have made numerous personal attacks on me and numerous bogus allegation against me.
You have repeatedly allegedly that I have assumed bad faith. That is absolutely false, and I have taken great care with my words not to write anything which could imply that. The words which you snipped out context to justify your bogus allegation do not carry the meaning which you falsely try to project onto them. My view is simply that EpicPupper has acted in good faith, but has not done nearly enough to mitigate the damage.
You have repeatedly allegedly that I have made personal attacks. That is absolutely false, and I have taken great care with my words not to write anything which could imply a personal attack.
Instead of heeding the warnings which several editors have given you about your false allegations, you are now getting way over the top. You need to take a step back ... and before you complain about anyone else's civility, stop your personal attacks and bogus allegations and flagrant misrepresentations. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:43, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Oh boy... I'm gonna need more popcorn. ✨ Ed talk! ✨ 21:56, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ed, your conduct at ANI was a mixture of bogus allegations and disruptive mockery.
Your comment about popcorn suggests that on top of all your bogus accusations, you just want to make drama. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:03, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
They may be bogus, but are they droning? Dronebogus (talk) 22:04, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This does not strike me as a particularly helpful comment. jp×g 22:11, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Like this entire discussion isn’t unhelpful? Dronebogus (talk) 22:12, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That seems to be a bit of a personal statement about Ed; I took his comment to mean that more drama will ensue. —Danre98(talk^contribs) 22:15, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hit the nail on the head. It's at the point where I can't help but have a total tongue-in-cheek disregard for BHGs comments here, so I'm just gonna sit back and much on my popcorn and say no more (unless I actually have to).Ed talk! ✨ 22:20, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No, @Danre98, is a comment on the conduct of Ed, not on Ed as a person.
On this page posted a bunch of thoroughly bogus accusations against me, along with plain silliness such as asking Does your userpage meet the notability requirements?. Such hyperbolic nonsense is disruptive.
I rebutted those falsehoods, but instead of posting a reasoned, civil reply, Ed's response was to try to stoke further. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:15, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@BrownHairedGirl It does seem close to me to saying that Ed as a person wants to create drama, though I do see how you can view his comment as doing such. (And I'm not going to talk about Ed's conduct, though it may not be perfect) —Danre98(talk^contribs) 00:44, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Danre98: I cannot know Ed's intentions, and I make no attempt to guess them. I just note that Ed's actions have been repeatedly disruptive. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:00, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
His actions are principally making fun of disruption that was started by you. Motes and logs here. Dronebogus (talk) 04:48, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Joining a discussion just to mock another editor is otherwise known as trolling. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 05:30, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Ed’s participation was not limited to mockery. And that doesn’t address that you have been engaging in disruption via WP:POINTy forum-shopping. Dronebogus (talk) 10:48, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There is nothing WP:POINTy about my objection.
And there was no forum shopping: I went to MFD ask for deletion, and to ANI to ask for action against the publishers of a partisan political piece. Those are the correct venues.
If you genuinely believe that I have been engaging in disruption via WP:POINTy forum-shopping, then please go to ANI. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:16, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I’m functionally topic-banned due to my terrible reputation there. Dronebogus (talk) 16:32, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What’s the point anyway? You got what you wanted. The ‘Post was bludgeoned into voluntary submission. Dronebogus (talk) 16:32, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Look, I don't think discussing BHG's arb case is the way to go. Discuss the point, not the editor, as the latter doesn't seem to help here. Firestar464 (talk) 01:15, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I’ve read through a lot of the exchange and think this is getting ridiculous. The entire article is simply a good-faith statement of support for members of our community living through a disaster. I don’t particularly care that this is a man-made disaster rather than a natural disaster like an earth quake; members of our community are still suffering. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 21:20, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The headline is "We stand in solidarity with Ukraine".
The headline is not "We stand with Ukrainian Wikipedians". That would at least be about our community, although it would still be partisan: I also stand with Russian Wikipedians and Wikipedians everywhere, and I hope everyone else does too.
So your claim that the entire article is simply a good-faith statement of support for members of our community living through a disaster is utterly false. It excludes other parts of our community which are also hurt by the war, and by not qualifying its scope it wrongly includes the whole Ukraine including its its army and govt. A headline anywhere on the Wikipedia website should be scrupulously careful not imply support for any army or govt, but this headline and article has not taken that care.
If you want to claim that despicable allegations have been made, please identify them. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:54, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
So you'd be fine with simply renaming the article to clarify the scope? Honestly, that sounds like a reasonable change. (Also, I removed the despicable language; that was needlessly uncivil on my part.) Spirit of Eagle (talk) 22:03, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Spirit of Eagle: thank you for the prompt redactions. Let's move on from that.
Look, I think that whole op-ed is so fundamentally misconceived that at this point a revised version would look like another minimalist step of damage limitation.
I can see how at draft stage it would not have taken a huge lot of work to reshape it as a neutral statement of support for Wikipedians and others caught up a brutal conflict which has killed thousands already, and created millions of refugees. That could have been a very powerful and unifying article, and it wasn't far away.
But that was then. Now that it has been published in partisan form, and already qualified with a disclaimer, further changes look like grudging retreats under pressure rather than a proper rethink. Yes, a neutral headline would be a huge improvement, but it's not the only fix needed: the start of para 2 is also far from neutral as is para2/sentence2.
The people suffering in this war are not just Ukrainian and not just in Ukraine. A well as the thousands of dead and millions of displaced Ukrainians, some 15,000 Russian servicemen have been killed in a war most of them had no say in. Every one of those people leaves grieving family and friends. We should stand with all those grieving, not just some. Anyone in Russia who tries to write independently about the war, or to mobile opinion about it, now faces criminal persecution and physical assault. If we are going to stand with people, then we should stand with them too, and with their right to express themselves .. but they will get cold comfort from this crudely partisan piece.
By the time all that is done, goodness knows how many steps have been taken to get something which is so very different from the original that the obvious questions are "why the hell didnt you do that in the first place?" and "why on earth did it take you so many steps to do the right thing?"
I have long personal experience of having both made my own screw-ups in political communication and having challenged those of my opponents. I have my own face covered in egg of my own making, and I have watched others with egg-strewn faces. I learnt the hard way from those episodes that polishing the wreck never brings about a resolution; it just makes the writer look shifty and evasive, and thereby makes the situation worse.
The way to end this sort of saga is simply to act decisively and promptly: withdraw the article, wholly and unconditionally, and say "sorry, we got that badly wrong". That draws a line under it, and allows the discussion to restart on a positive note. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:02, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah, that's what I'm also proposing. Another good alternative would be standing in solidarity with free information. Firestar464 (talk) 01:17, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
First, thank you for taking the time to type that up; your response was very insightful and thought provoking. Reading through your comments and the article, I agree that in retrospect this article is partisan. I think the fact that so many people take this partisan position as self-evident and moral have obscured this somewhat. Still, I’m not sure if I could describe this as unwarranted. The Signpost has often taken partisan positions on things like freedom of panorama and copyright law; I’d argue that the damage to Ukrainian cultural heritage during the 2022 Russian invasion and the harm this invasion has caused to the Ukrainian Wikipedia community. Granted, this conflict hasn’t exactly been kind to the Russian or Belarussian Wikipedia community either (or to RUssians and Belarussians in general) and I agree there was definitely room in this article to take a broader scope. (Of course, there’s always the risk of articles such as this being picked up in propaganda outlets and used as justification to repress Wikipedia). Honestly, there’s a lot to think about here. Thanks, at the very least, for opening my eyes to that. Spirit of Eagle (talk) 02:05, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks, @Spirit of Eagle and @Firestar464.
I hope that we can all learn from this, and find ways to discuss things further to help ensure that the Signpost's coverage of hot topics is much more nuanced and inclusive, and more clearly aligned with the principles of openness and impartiality which we apply to the encyclopedia itself.
I have had previously had good experiences of some of the Signpost team, and I am particularly pleased that in these discussions I have found the author of this article to be exceptionally courteous and open ... so despite the unhelpful noise-making from some other quarters, I am optimistic that there is enough goodwill around for some good to come out of this. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:33, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'd think that the disclaimer would have more than at best a legalistic effect, as it would let people know that this is not some sort of official enwiki newspaper. It could change unaware people's perception of it. If there are bad faith people looking for a reason looking to disparage wikipedia, they will find their "reasons" to do so with or without this. We should not let them decide what we do on this site. —Danre98(talk^contribs) 21:48, 28 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Here's why I think the disclaimer makes little difference.
Without the disclaimer, the article can be perceived as "community of wiki-editors takes side in war". Or labelled that way by our enemies.
With the disclaimer, if anyone even reads the small print, then it's "editorial board of the wiki-editors takes sides in war". That distinction may be crucial to us, but it will be of little relevance to anyone not immersed in wikipolitics. The distinction is too subtle for casual observers, who mostly don't engage with such nuances.
Yes of course there are some people who will want to denounce Wikipedia regardless of what we say or do. My point about this partisan piece is that it gives our enemies a handy tool with which the persuade neutral people that maybe the critics are right. I think it is folly to hand such a gift to our enemies: all risk, and zero upside. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:26, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree, but I do see where you are coming from. —Danre98(talk^contribs) 01:18, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I still feel like you’re looking for reasons to complain here. The main opponents of English Wikipedia are right-wingers, particularly American right-wingers, and so far most “mainstream” conservatives have opposed the war while only the extremist pro-authoritarian fringe have sided with Russia. Dronebogus (talk) 10:45, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don’t know, is the situation somehow different in Ireland? Is there a cultural thing everyone is missing? Dronebogus (talk) 10:56, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The Barnstar of Diplomacy
By the authority vested in me by myself it gives me great pleasure to present the editorial team of The Signpost with this barnstar in recognition of their finding a way out. Gog the Mild (talk) 19:34, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
+1. I support the retraction and the new editorial, and thank The Signpost team for fixing this. Levivich 17:43, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
This isn’t a community vote. The Signpost is an independent organization within Wikipedia and makes its own decisions internally. Dronebogus (talk) 18:34, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Nobody's voting, and The Signpost is not "an independent organization within Wikipedia". It's hosted at, which makes it a part of Wikipedia; nothing independent about it at all. If it wants to be independent, it should find its own servers. BTW, I suspect the Village Pump Miscellaneous discussion about the role of The Signpost will be revived soon (after the DRV is closed). I'm not the only editor who thinks that should not be used to host any "independent organizations". Levivich 18:39, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That’s what I meant by “independent within” it’s governed by Wikipedia’s “laws” but is separately organized from the overall community. Dronebogus (talk) 18:49, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
No, it's not separately organized from the overall community. It's part of the community. It belongs to the community. It is overseen by the community. The community controls everything at Everything, even the hosting (the WMF is run by the community via trustee elections). Just like any other WikiProject, we don't allow groups of editors to create little fiefdoms or as we call them, "walled gardens". No group of editors can insulate their activity on from broader community oversight. The Signpost exists only if, and as, the community allows it to. If the community decided to shutdown The Signpost, it could do that, with an RFC. I don't support shutting it down, and I don't think the community does, either, but it most certainly is, in no way, independent. There is no "freedom of the press" on Wikipedia (and The Signpost isn't "the press", anyway). Levivich 18:56, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
My only point was the ‘post retracted it unilaterally, which they have a right to do, so it makes no sense to say “support” when “agree” would suffice. My understanding was that the signpost was sort of a collective userpage that by default belonged to the production team but could be “seized” by the community if needbe. Dronebogus (talk) 00:54, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you

Thanks and congratulations to @EpicPupper and the rest of the Signpost team for retracting the original partisan editorial and replacing it (in this edit[3]) with a neutral piece.

The new editorial is excellent. It is scrupulously neutral, expressing support for all those who have been adversely impacted by the war. It emphasises how we as Wikipedians continue to play a positive role by continuing what we have done for 21 years: providing free, impartial information for all. And it is both eloquent and concise.

There are many places on the internet and elsewhere where people can express their views on issues. Wikipedia is different: it is a project to provide impartial info to help others form their views, hopefully better-informed as a result of our work. Our greatest strengths in doing so are our transparency (we source everything, and keep our discussions public) and our commitment to neutrality. The revised editorial with its preceding explanation exemplifies both those core values.

Thank you to the editorial team collectively for responding to criticism, and rectifying an error. And again, I want to give special thanks to EpicPupper, whose grace under pressure has been an exemplary display of openness, civility, courtesy and integrity. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 20:26, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hatting discussion - If someone chooses to pursue this further, please continue at a more appropriate venue. - jc37 08:44, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
It's nice to see that forum-shopping and bludgeoning discussion can still move mountains on Wikipedia. (talk) 23:09, 29 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There was no forum-shopping and no bludgeoning. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 00:05, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"There was no forum-shopping and no bludgeoning." I don't know how you can tell such an obvious lie with a straight face. You've made at least 100 comments on this issue, between this talk page, the ANI thread you started, the MfD you filed, the DRV you filed after the MfD was SNOW closed, the VP/M discussion, etc. Your strategy of forum shopping and bludgeoning anyone and everyone to get your way has succeeded as you have worn out the will of those holding the opposing viewpoint to argue with you, so I'm sure you are happy with yourself. You are (or after this, I should say were) a user I had a lot of respect for, and I'm incredibly disappointed to see you launch and still stand by such an absurd crusade. Trainsandotherthings (talk) 14:24, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Trainsandotherthings: after my initial comments here, I opened two further discussions in the appropriate venues to seek remedies: MFD to seek deletion of the editorial, and ANI to seek sanctions against the editor(s) who created it.
That is not forum-shopping. It is using the correct venues for dispute resolution. Both were needed, because ANI cannot delete a page, and MFD cannot sanction editors. The WP:SNOW closure of the MFD after only 50 minutes and only 7 !votes was a gross misuse of SNOW, so I followed the established process by opening a DRV.
I have been subjected to barrages of personal abuse, and multiple false allegations that I have made personal attacks (including at least one by you[4]). Those who choose to make such allegations should either supply the evidence and pursue their complaints at ANI, or retract their comments.
As to the allegation of "bludgeoning", significant proportion of my replies have been in response to those like you who have chosen to make unfounded allegations of misconduct. I find it utterly invidious that by defending myself against this sort of baiting, I am then accused of posting too much.
I have absolutely no regret whatsoever about making a stand in support of the first item on the WMF's list of Founding principles, ie NPOV. If this happened again, I would respond in much the same way ... but I would be less surprised by the viciousness and vehemence of some of those who oppose NPOV. I have leant from these discussions that many editors have very odd interpretations of a principle which seems to me to be quite simple, and I am thinking of writing a comment piece about those rejections of NPOV. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 22:07, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Wikipedia should be neutral. Signpost does not have to be. I am disappointed with the name change, which IMHO puts the wrong values forward. Which goes to show, you can't make everyone happy, no matter what you do. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 09:47, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]

As am I. I’m not sure whether I’m more ashamed of the Signpost for giving in to such an obvious WP:1AM bad-faith badgering campaign or BHG for engaging in it. Dronebogus (talk) 16:31, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Nah, who am I kidding. This is ENTIRELY BHG’s fault. Dronebogus (talk) 16:35, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Dronebogus Do not make personal attacks. Just because you didn't get your way does not give you the right to attack those who disagree with you. Furthermore, I think you need to be reminded what bad faith is before you start throwing around "bad-faith badgering" accusations. - ZLEA T\C 17:02, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Just because you didn't get your way does not give you the right to attack those who disagree with you. I couldn't agree more! When will you be giving BHG the same reminder? Trainsandotherthings (talk) 17:48, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Don't kid yourself, BHG is the defintion of WP:UNBLOCKABLE. Any new or IP user would have been indeffed long before this point. Starting five massive drama threads and arguing against consensus in all of them is far more disruptive than an editorial outside of article space. (talk) 18:08, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I haven't seen any personal attacks from BHG. In fact, she's been one of the more civil people here. If you disagree, please support your claims and show me some diffs of what you believe were personal attacks. - ZLEA T\C 20:56, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Trainsandotherthings: please supply diffs to support your claims that I have made personal attacks, or retract your comments. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:39, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Look, I didn't want to spend an hour plus gathering up all the examples of why you've been disruptive and made personal attacks, but I refuse to submit to your usual tactics that you use to silence opposition. Here are your diffs, with full quotations as well. Let's begin, this is going to be quite long.
  • Ed, I have seen many absurdisms in these discussions, many of them from you. But none of them are as absurd as your attempt to equate these two items: my userbox about a stylistic issue in how to write the encyclopedia a political statement of allegiance to one side of a war in the banner headline of the lead article in the community newsletter. These are completely different types of issue. In order to build an enycylopedia, Wikipedians have to make decisions about writing style. But taking sides in a war is nothing to do with building an encyclopedia: it is just political grandstanding. I see no way in which a competent editor acting in good faith could equate those two things as you have done here. On top of that absurd conflation, you have made numerous personal attacks on me and numerous bogus allegation against me. [[5]] Here, BHG is not only accusing Ed of acting in bad faith and of personal attacks, both patently false allegations, but making veiled personal attacks of her own. "I see no way in which a competent editor acting in good faith could equate those two things as you have done here." I'd like to point out that Ed actually spoke up in your defense about civility [[6]].
  • Ed, your conduct at ANI was a mixture of bogus allegations and disruptive mockery. Your comment about popcorn suggests that on top of all your bogus accusations, you just want to make drama. [[7]] Here we see BHG again accusing her opponents of disrupting Wikipedia. Ironic, isn't it?
  • I have nominated the article for deletion (see Wikipedia:Miscellany for deletion/Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2022-03-27/From the team), and this post here is to ask that action be taken to sanction the editor(s) involved in this flagrant abuse of Wikipedia as their political soapbox. [[8]] Here, BHG comes right out the gate accusing the Signpost team of acting in bad faith, along with an absurd demand that the Signpost team be sanctioned. Obviously, this was a ridiculous demand and no such sanctioning has occurred.
  • Thanks, @EpicPupper. So it seem that nobody within the Signpost team even thought it was worth discussing
  • whether a blatantly partisan political stance was appropriate
  • what the boundaries should be for political commentary on such a hot topic
  • whether it was fair to assume that silence=consent when taking a political stance
  • That is very alarming. (Did not use the tq template here as it was acting up) [9] This incredibly accusatory and inflammatory comment by BHG typifies her pattern of behavior. Endlessly accusing everyone of wrongdoing, heavily injecting her own POV, and taking things to extreme and ridiculous conclusions.
  • A WP:SNOW close after 50 minutes and only 7 !votes is simply a partisan attempt to impose the closer's views. It is sn outrageous abuse of WP:SNOW. [[10]] Here, BHG accuses the closers of the MfD of being partisan. Here's a tip for you, BHG: if everyone else is partisan except you, maybe it's you who is the partisan.
  • I note for example that the very nice editor who wrote this op-ed has been on en.wp for less than two years, so is far from being one of our more experienced editors. I can't help wondering if greater experience would have led to more caution. [11] This one particularly bothers me. Oh no, Epicpupper has "only been here less than 2 years." This is a direct and entirely unjustified attack on his competence. I started here in July 2021, does that make me incompetent too? Just because you've been here a decade and a half doesn't mean that you're somehow better than other editors.
  • I do have to quote your final sentence "That you can't discern it, refuse to discern it, or espouse extreme neutralism in the face of abject evil does not mean that others, including Signpost editors, are not allowed to have a viewpoint on anything. That is a very nasty, vicious and utterly false personal attack on me. I Have not in any way suggested that anyone should not have a viewpoint. I ask only that this site is not place to express that view. The internet has many other places where people can express their views ... and yoir claim that I am somehow trying to censor anyone is malevolent nonsense.
    I personally take the view that all war is evil. I do not ask anyone here to agree with me about that, or to debate that view; I simply ask that we keep our opinions out of this task of building an encyclopedia, and out of our community pages. I fund it deeply obnoxious and viciously bullying that you have chosen to attack me for not joining in your emotive demands that I conform to your selective denunciation of atrocity. Please take your vile smear tactics and your vicious bullying elsewhere. This is the third time in a few months that you have used extremely hostile language to radically misrepresent me. I hope that on this occasion you will have the decency to retract your smear.
    [12] BHG falsely calls someone pointing out her extreme neutralism a "very nasty, vicious, and utterly false personal attack" and follows it up with more grandstanding about how truly terrible someone pointing out her POV is. You've been subject to real abuse before, BHG, so I'd hope you would know better than to conflate actual abuse with someone disagreeing with you.
With regards to the bludgeoning, let's take a quick count of how many replies BHG has made in all the places she forum shopped. At the ANI thread, I count 34 messages from BHG, including the original filing. At the VPM discussion, another 41 comments by BHG. Add one more each for the DRV filing and the MfD filing. Add another 19 for this talk page. That's a total of 96 messages. Even if we subtract the necessary ones such as the filings, it's clear to see the sheer extent of BHG's bludgeoning and badgering that has been a consistent part of her behavior throughout this whole mess. You've created a real shitshow here, BHG, and as the IP editor said, any other editor would long have been blocked for this level of disruption.
I could pull a dozen more examples of you being uncivil, disruptive, and otherwise misbehaving, but I'd like to get to sleep at a reasonable hour tonight. You have wasted so much community time with your crusade. You have shown flagrant disregard for consensus, fighting a WP:1AM battle and refusing to even consider that consensus was against you, bludgeoning and badgering all opponents until they get tired of your endless accusations, bad-faith characterizations, and other unpleasantries. It's a quite effective strategy, as most people do not wish to spend as much time arguing on Wikipedia as you do. You wear people down until they give in because they want to get on with their lives and you will never stop, never compromise, never even consider you might ever be wrong about anything. This attitude is incompatible with Wikipedia. It disgusts me. Trainsandotherthings (talk) 01:53, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You should probably take that to ANI, though you’re also likely to get a random boomerang from some annoyed admin who wants this to be over. Dronebogus (talk) 03:09, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If you do be sure to add forum shopping and WP:POINT to the list per my evidence below. Dronebogus (talk) 03:11, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Trainsandotherthings: nothing in what you have posted is a personal attack by me on another editor. All are examples of me criticising the action(s) and comments of another editor, not their person ... and I suggest that you take this to ANI, where I will defend myself vigorously.
The underlying logic of your complaint is nothing to do with the content of my responses. It is contine din your final paragraphs, where your write at length about your objection to the fact that I defend the substance of my complaint about the breach of neutrality. You quote Headbomb's phrase "extreme neutralism", and use it yourself.
That is an extraordinary use of language. Partisanship comes in degrees, but neutrality doesn't. Neutral is simply the absence of partisanship, and either an article is neutral or it is not. Note that the phrase "extreme neutralism" is used repeatedly by an editor who repeatedly describe one party to the conflict as "abject evil". That is an appalling inversion of responsibility: adopt a hyperbolically partisan stance, but project the label of "extremism" onto someone asking for non-partisanship. Yet you are endorsing Headbomb's nasty game of smearing me as an "extremist" for rejecting ultra-partisanship.
Look, NPOV is at heart quite simple: do not take sides. I find it extraordinary to watch the fury of those who who reject NPOV, and who try to invert reality by casting that neutrality as an "extreme" position. I remind you again that NPOV is the first item in the WMF's list of Founding principles, If you regard that principle as "extremist", then you should direct your fury at the WMF, not at me.
I have said it elsewhere, and I repeat it: Neutrality is a the #1 Founding principle of WMF, and it is not up for debate or subject to being overruled by local consensus. I do not care how many partisan editors denounce me for upholding NPOV, or smear me (as you have done) with absurdities such as a bogus allegation of making a "personal attack" for noting[13] that the author's own account own account of the assessments of the Signpost editorial team makes no mention of a check for neutrality. Please stop your smear tactics. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 05:33, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
By suggesting ANI you automatically tell every sane user “do not do this per WP:DENY” because you are clearly looking for a fight. Dronebogus (talk) 05:37, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
@Dronebogus: no, I am not looking for fight. Quite the opposite.
I am responding to editors like you who are looking for a fight, and I am asking you to take your fight to the proper venue for such complaints. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 06:02, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
“those who create the Signpost have so flagrantly trampled over one of our core policies.” right at the top probably counts. Dronebogus (talk) 00:50, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Wow! What a doozy of a comment! I now see that this is going nowhere with this vicious cycle of WP:CRYNPA, CRYCRYNPA, CRYCRYCRYNPA, and so forth. I'm not going to name names, but throughout this discussion, I've seen multiple personal attacks, boomeranging, double boomeranging, the assumption of bad faith, the assumption of the assumption of bad faith, bludgeoning, and a freaking wall of text! (If you thought it was worthwhile to compile that and post it here, why not go straight to WP:ANI?) I'm not going to touch any of that from this point forward because I don't want to get sucked any further into this loop.
I will point out, however, that the Signpost team's retraction of the editorial was their own decision based on the concerns of at least five editors. Yet everyone is fixing the "blame" solely on BHG (not that she is wrong for voicing her concerns) as opposed to the others who voiced their concerns (including me). Why not just blame the Signpost team for even listening to a "single rogue editor" who, as you say, is going against consensus? After all, they could have just denied her recognition. - ZLEA T\C 03:06, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Because she started it, and only got really disruptive after it started. We don’t sanction people for failure to WP:DENY. Dronebogus (talk) 03:08, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I was told to either provide evidence or retract my statement. I chose to provide evidence. I'm not taking this to ANI, it's already taken up too much of my time and nothing good will come of doing so. Someone else is more than welcome to. Trainsandotherthings (talk) 03:16, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I never said anything about sanctions, but I'll roll with it. We do sanction people for going against consensus. By not WP:DENYing, the Signpost team would have been going against an established consensus, correct? - ZLEA T\C 03:18, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Well it isn’t going to be me since ANI admins do not like me. Dronebogus (talk) 03:21, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The proper venue for a complaint about editor conduct is ANI.
But Dronebogus will not take their complaint to the proper venue, because admins there are already fed up with Dronebogus. And instead Dronnebogus disrupts this page by using it s the venue for complaints which belong elsewhere.
That is textbook forum-shopping.
Yet the forum-shopper Dronebogus persists in making false allegation that I have been forum-shopping. YCMTSU. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 06:07, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I disagree with the Signpost team and are disappointed in them. I don’t support their actions but I understand where they’re coming from and believe they have a right to do so. On the other hand I am angry with BHG for engaging in disruptive behavior to get her way, in a clear case of WP:BLUDGEON, WP:forum shopping, WP:ABF, and WP:POINT Dronebogus (talk) 18:24, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
While I do see borderline bludgeoning from BHG, I do not see any forum shopping, assumption of bad faith, or disruption to illustrate a point. Expressing concerns for an editorial and then nominating it for MfD is not forum shopping. Even the deletion review was justified, as the MfD was closed far too early for any real discussion to take place (I would have filed a deletion review even if the outcome was in my favor). BHG had legitimate concerns about the editorial, and instead of people trying to find a compromise, we got things like this. So tell me, who's really at fault here? - ZLEA T\C 20:56, 30 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
She went to wp:ANI with the complaint “signpost team ignores neutrality” or something akin to that, which was dismissed as as being an inappropriate issue for the board. Ergo forum shopping and WP:POINT. It’s either still on the front page or in the first archive. Dronebogus (talk) 00:42, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Link: Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#WP:Signpost team ignores NPOV Dronebogus (talk) 00:48, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Also, Tu quoque isn’t necessary here. This is about BHG’s conduct, not about the legitimacy of her concerns or people’s reactions to them. Dronebogus (talk) 01:29, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You’re not going to get very far by saying “no you” unless it’s an attempt to WP:BOOMERANG someone. Dronebogus (talk) 01:37, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
About the alleged forum shopping, perhaps you should take another look at this. I could go down the WP:BOOMERANG and Tu quoque rabbit holes, but that would just lead to more unecessary drama. - ZLEA T\C 03:37, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
A quote from the accused person stating they didn’t do it? Really? Dronebogus (talk) 03:34, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Actually, a valid explanation for behavior which could easily be mistaken for forum shopping. An explanation which, to my knowledge, has not been properly challenged. - ZLEA T\C 03:37, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • It would seem The Signpost was bludgeoned into changing this editorial. While I personally think the sentiments communicated in this new editorial are more suited for what we do here, the methods by which this change was made were at best petty and at worst bullying. The deletion attempt subsequent review were nothing more than attempts to force one opinion over another (concerning an EDITORIAL, which is about, you know, expressing opinions). "Thanks and congratulations [for doing exactly what I want]" oh pls. -Indy beetle (talk) 08:00, 31 March 2022 (UTC)[reply]
  • "We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe." Elie Wiesel. I support the original text of the editorial. AugusteBlanqui (talk) 08:08, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


This retraction is horrible. The Signpost should not cave in to extreme neutralists. We should stand with Ukraine. This was not a violation of your "commitment to neutral coverage of the Wikimedia movement", but this retraction certainly is. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 11:22, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

You've made my April Fools Day with "extreme neutralists". 😂 👍 Levivich 13:34, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Mine too. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:24, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
apparently some people here are very clever but don’t know the difference between the words “neutrality” and “moderation”? Dronebogus (talk) 20:55, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If the previous version wasn't "neutral", then this version isn't either. It calls the Russian invasion an invasion, which it is, rather than a "special military operation" to implement "de-Nazification" within "the" Ukraine. By not giving equal weight to the Kremlin's circumlocutions, the new version is still blatantly POV.
I know that sounds sarcastic, but it is what logically follows from applying the absurd, disconnected-from-policy premise of "neutrality" as it had been defined in the complaints about the previous version. XOR'easter (talk) 14:57, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you. Dronebogus (talk) 11:28, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Thank you

While some may disagree, I firmly believe that the retraction was for the best. Not only did you recognize that you made a mistake, but you openly admitted it and worked to fix it. These acts show that you are not afraid to do what's right, and they also show a level of competence beyond that of the average editor.

What's happening in Ukraine is criminal, but the Russians need to know what is going on, and that's not happening with Putin's media feeding them lies. When the largest newsletter on Wikipedia picks a side in the war, it gives the Russian government another excuse to block Wikipedia. Thank you for doing your part to prevent the last reliable source from being stripped from the Russian people. - ZLEA T\C 13:26, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Putin will not block Wikipedia based on its newsletter. Putin will block Wikipedia for not toeing the Kremlin line. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:15, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If Putin makes enough WP:UNDUE and other blue ink arguments he might find a sympathetic audience. AugusteBlanqui (talk) 14:19, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What do you think Putin would do if he saw a prominent group of editors "standing in solidarity" with his enemy despite his demands? As much as we think it's a good idea to criticize Putin on Wikipedia, there are far more appropriate platforms to soapbox than the backstage of an encyclopedia which prides itself on neutrality. Even if Putin doesn't notice, the original editorial was a feel-good piece which accomplished nothing but give ammunition to Putin's censorship campaign. Luckily, the mistake was corrected for the better. - ZLEA T\C 14:44, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
What do you think Putin is doing to Ukranians right now? We should not cow to a dictator's agenda because dictators don't like us. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 14:53, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We shouldn't encourage a dictator to tighten his censorship of the truth. If we have to choose between hurting one dictator's feelings with an editorial or remaining silent to preserve access to the truth to 143 million people, I don't see any logical reason to not choose the latter. - ZLEA T\C 15:11, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hence my condemnation of this stunt as slacktivism, ZLEA. Your actions here are meaningless. You have no way of impacting the wider world. Live with it. Stop climbing the Reichstag dressed as Spider-Man because you have unresolved feelings about world events. Chris Troutman (talk) 15:32, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Chris troutman I will assume good faith that it was not a personal attack, but I will kindly ask that you retract the above comment because of your unwarranted claims that I have "unresolved feelings" about world events. We simply cannot afford to continue provoking dictators who have not yet blocked Wikipedia. - ZLEA T\C 16:00, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Again, you flatter yourself to think that a foolhardy piece in The Signpost would ever provoke a dictator. I have nothing against you, personally, ZLEA, but I'm not retracting anything. Chris Troutman (talk) 16:05, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Putin sympathizers (or perhaps people on Putin's payroll) are already doxxing Russian editors who edit against his agenda, many of them being arrested for "spreading disinformation". Maybe Putin himself doesn't directly have eyes on the Signpost, but it is very clear that the Russian government is listening to the sympathizers when it comes to Wikipedia. It takes just one Putin sympathizer to bring what Putin might call "growing anti-Russian sentiment and organized pro-Ukraine disinformation campaigns" to the Kremlin's attention and use it as an excuse to block Wikipedia. While it may be an extrapolation of the current situation, there is no reason to disregard or deny the danger. - ZLEA T\C 17:01, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
We. Should. Not. Cater. To. Dictators. And. Despots. What's next, we ought to refer to the Russian invasion as a legitimate special military operation to denazify Ukraine out of fear that Wikipedia will be shut down? If you give an inch, they will take a mile. Fuck Putin and fuck his invasion. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 18:46, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You're right about not giving in to Putin's demands, but we shouldn't respond with a request for bias with opposite bias. I get it, I want Putin tried for war crimes, but I'm not going to do anything that could lead to the Russian people losing their last source of the truth. Let's not make the situation worse for hundreds of millions of people just because we don't like one power-hungry dictator. - ZLEA T\C 19:32, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
"We shouldn't respond with a request for bias with opposite bias." There is no request for bias. Against tyranny, the proper position is to be anti-tyranny. This is bias as much as taking a pro-gravity stand when faced people who deny that gravity exists. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:56, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I've seen enough. No sense continuing a looping argument. - ZLEA T\C 22:53, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
There is no request for bias, says an editor demanding that the Signpost align itself with one side of a war.
YCMTSU. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 23:28, 1 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Siding with Jews against Hitler is not demanding bias. That's demanding sanity and moral decency. It's no different here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 21:04, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Yeah fuck ‘im! Dronebogus (talk) 10:45, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Comments like that aren't going to help your argument. In fact, they appear to show that you can't or refuse to suppress your biases when discussing matters related to the Russo-Ukrainian conflict. - ZLEA T\C 15:51, 5 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The whole point of this argument is whether or not NPOV refers to non-article spaces (it doesn’t, but you and BHG seem to passionately disagree) Dronebogus (talk) 12:09, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don't disagree about the scope of the policy, but with your use of this talk page for disruptive soapboxing. - ZLEA T\C 12:50, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
[redacting per user complaint] Dronebogus (talk) 12:52, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You don't see me bludgeoning talk pages with my beliefs. Meanwhile, you've just made it clear to everyone the lengths you will go to make a WP:POINT. What's done is done, the Signpost team has made their decision on their own, drop the stick. - ZLEA T\C 13:11, 6 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Last I checked, Hitler never threatened to block Wikipedia if it didn't take down what he called "disinformation". I also find your comment to be highly disrespectful because, as evil as Putin is, there is no credible evidence that he is not rounding up Ukrainians and forcing them into slavery or sending them to death camps, at least nowhere near the degree that Hitler did.

I will also say that it is not Wikipedia's place to take sides. I'm assuming that with Siding with Jews against Hitler is not demanding bias you are talking about the article space, since that was what I was talking about when I said we shouldn't respond with a request for bias with opposite bias. Therefore, I will remind you that WP:NPOV is absolute in the article space. Wikipedia doesn't call the Holocaust a crime against humanity because it is morally right, but rather because reliable sources say it was. Wikipedia is WP:IMPARTIAL, therefore it doesn't have a moral obligation to support one side over another, no matter how righteous it may be. - ZLEA T\C 23:52, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

Hitler never threatened to block Wikipedia if it didn't take down what he called "disinformation" Gee I wonder why. I'm going to take a wild stab here and venture the guess that it's because Hitler died about 60 years before Wikipedia got around. Also 1) NPOV applies to mainspace 2) Impartiallity does not mean going 'the jury's out' on every topic. Impartiallity means looking at the facts neutrally. And looking at the facts neutrality, Putin's in the wrong. If Ukraine invaded Turkey tomorrow and started gassing civilians, then Turkey would be warranted in declaring war on Ukraine. But that's not what's happening here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 01:10, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Hedmbomb seems to be entirely unable and/or unwilling to accept the very simple concept of NPOV. It means being neutral, regardless of any moral assessment, no matter how extreme anyone considers the immorality to be. BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 01:31, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
It's you who's unable to understand what NPOV means, that it applies to mainspace, not project space, and that WP:YESBIAS applies. Take your extreme neutralism out of here. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 02:24, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The point I was trying to make was that this is not 1942. The world is very different today than it was 80 years ago. Dictators operate very differently now because of the internet, and in this more connected world, Putin has the power to strip the truth from the Russian people with the push of a button. Hitler had his propaganda, but Putin is on an entirely different level when it comes to control over his people. When looking at the facts neutrally, you will only find that Russia invaded Ukraine. Whether the invasion was wrong or right is an opinion, as all human morals are themselves opinions as to what constitutes right and wrong, which can differ greatly from culture to culture. While Putin's actions arguably go against most cultures' morals, let's not pretend that morals are facts set in stone. Literally the first point of WP:YESPOV is Avoid stating opinions as facts. Instead of saying "Putin's invasion of Ukraine is morally wrong", the neutral, impartial way to present it is "Putin's invasion of Ukraine has been described by many to be morally wrong." Remember, Wikipedia is not a soapbox or a place to right great wrongs.
I agree with BHG. Your behavior indicates that your bias against Putin has rendered you unable to act neutrally when it comes to the Russo-Ukrainian War. This comment alone demonstrates my point; you dropped the F-bomb on Putin twice in one sentence! You can't tell me that wasn't your bias talking. A good editor recognizes their biases and doesn't let them interfere with their on-wiki judgement, and if they can't suppress it, they voluntarily exclude themselves from the topic. - ZLEA T\C 03:08, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Oh der. Headbomb, please read for example the article Nazism.
It expresses no POV about Nazism; instead, per WP:ATTRIBUTEPOV and WP:WEIGHT it describes what reliable sources say about Nazism. However, it does NOT express on behalf of Wikipedia any POV about Nazism.
As to the rest, what on earth is the point of your endless declarations that Nazism is bad and Putin is bad? Nobody in these discussions expressed any hint of support for either of them, so what are you trying to achieve? BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 05:32, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
That's because Nazism is an article. We fully allowed to express opinions on Nazis in project space. You don't seem to be able to grasp the difference between the encyclopedia, which is bound by WP:NPOV, and project space, which is not, lest things like WP:WPWIR would be banned for trying to right a great wrong. Headbomb {t · c · p · b} 13:16, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
WP:NONAZIS explains how to recognize and deal with racist editors. The essay characterizes Nazi beliefs, but says that non-racists find their beliefs to be evil. Furthermore, when WP:RGW says "great wrongs", it means great wrongs committed outside of Wikipedia (rapes, murders, genocide, etc.). WP:WPWIR solely deals with a great wrong within Wikipedia, outside the scope of RGW. - ZLEA T\C 14:07, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
The true question is "Is Signpost an editorial space? Or another part of Wikipedia?" If it is just an editorial board, it should be allowed to support one side (righteous one, I must say), forgoing WP:NPOV in lieu of free speech. Or it is another part of Wikipedia? Bound to follow the neutrality clause that governs all mainspace articles? Should we say something to the Russia that are threatening to fine Wikipedia for 4 million rubles? Or we just report them? SunDawntalk 23:30, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think that's a false binary.
It would be entirely possible to set boundaries on the actions of the "editorial board" which give more leeway than applies in article space, but which fall short of the complete freedom which the Signpost's editor is currently claiming.
In practice, such constraints already exist, even if they are not codified. To take a very extreme hypothetical example, if the Signpost went down a rabbit-hole and published a stream of editorials denouncing the alleged takeover of all OECD countries by lizard people who were using water fluoridation and sublimal imaging to turn humans into automaton slaves of the Masters of Planet Zog, I am pretty sure that the community would rapidly call a halt.
Similarly, an emergency brake would be applied promptly if the Signpost started spewing out articles or editorial denouncing Wikipedia as a tool of the InternationalMarxistConspiracy / EldersOfZion / Popish Plot / American Imperialism / Ku Kux Klan / Mossad / MI5 / Al Qaeda / George Soros / insert-your-own-conspiracy-theory.
So the issue is where the lines are drawn, and whether they are codified.
What's happened in this case is that a vocal chunk of the community has decided that political partisanship wrt to Ukraine is acceptable because most of the community supports or tolerates that POV. The response would have been very different if (for example) the Signpost had expressed its solidarity with the 90% of countries which have been invaded by Britain, or the countries where the United States has been involved in regime change.
As to that threat of a fine, I see no problem in applying NPOV. Russia calls us "fake news", threatens a fine; WMF says not fake, defends freedom of speech. That's the NPOV version of it; what would be gained by adding some partisan commentary? BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 02:03, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
You’re one to talk about vocal minorities. “YCMTSU” Dronebogus (talk) 05:11, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

It's the retraction that's not neutral

Throughout this sprawling debate, there has been one good point by BHG and the others objecting to this piece: the headline was confusing and kind of out of place. The current headline is better. The only other major difference between the current version and the original is a couple notes from the editors. One note hedges a bit -- fine, but unnecessary given the title change. The other, the retraction, repeats a line of argumentation that actually does give the impression of violating NPOV: that we remain neutral in conflicts.

We do not remain "neutral in conflicts." We remain neutral by summarizing what reliable sources say about conflicts. That's what neutrality is on Wikipedia. Neutrality isn't reducing reality into a one-size-fits-all A-versus-B dynamic so we can stake out some hypothetical middle ground. When one country, in an act of aggression, invades another under false pretenses, we describe it as such. Our neutrality is plainly visible in the way our articles about the invasion summarize reliable sources on the topic. It's for this reason that the loudly repeated accusations of "partisanship" stand out to me: either we've contrived some false balance/both sides scenario or...

NPOV doesn't apply to projectspace, but what we say about neutrality in projectspace matters (it's where the policy lives, after all). The original version, though I think changing the headline for the best, absolutely did not violate NPOV. The retraction, however, makes an incorrect statement about neutrality. ...At least insofar as the "we" can be understood in multiple ways, as with the initial piece. Adding: Even if the "we" does regard the Signpost team, does the Signpost really "remain neutral in conflicts"? That seems like a big claim about "conflicts" that's probably just intended as short-term appeasement rather than an editorial position. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 03:28, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]

The very fact that we call Ukraine biolabs that are forwarded by the Russians as conspiracy theory and how we call it invasion instead of just "military operation" showed that Wikipedia is not "neutral" in conflicts, and we should not be. SunDawntalk 17:24, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Neutral about conflict =/= "neutral" about facts. For example, one can accurately state who punched first without taking sides in a fistfight. Calling it an "invasion" is not un-neutral; invasions aren't necessarily bad; Operation Overlord and Operation Dragoon are examples of "good" invasions. Nor does neutrality require adopting Putin's propaganda ("military operation"). "Neutrality" means not openly advocating for one side or the other to prevail; it doesn't mean adopting one side or the other's language, or forgoing accurate descriptions of events. Levivich 17:59, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
Nazis don’t count. Nobody except racist douchebags like Nazis. Dronebogus (talk) 20:54, 2 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not sure where the above comment about Nazis came from, since no one brought up Nazis in this section before. And no, the Nazis actually do count. The thing about WP:NPOV is that it is absolute in the mainspace. Wikipedia's policies and guidelines are set up to prevent all types of soapboxing in the mainspace, not just the one considered less morally right. We do have WP:NONAZIS essay, but that's about recognizing and dealing with racist editors, not giving a green light to ignore NPOV in articles about Nazis. - ZLEA T\C 03:35, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I was referring to the “good” invasions comment. The nazis made Stalin look good; they’re not a good metric on controversial topics. Dronebogus (talk) 05:08, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not entirely sure whom/what you're arguing against, but "Neutrality" means not openly advocating for one side or the other to prevail seems to be the thrust of your point. Again, in the current context, we're talking about "standing with" an invaded/attacked people rather than recasting Ukraine as one "side" that we must be neutral about. For example, one can accurately state who punched first without taking sides in a fistfight. - I certainly hope the Signpost didn't say anything like "get well soon" or "we stand with Rick Moranis" in the traffic report of his "fistfight" got sufficient attention a couple years ago. How partisan that would be. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 13:21, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
If The Signpost "stands with invaded/attacked peoples," they're gonna be writing editorials in every issue; there's quite a backlog. Somehow I must have missed the issues where The Signpost "stood with" Georgians, Chechens, Iraqis, Afghanis, Syrians, Palestinians, Uyghurs, Hong Kong, etc. etc. Levivich 14:58, 3 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I think the reason the Signpost published this was because this is the most significant war in decades and is plastered all over every news source in existence. Theoretically the Signpost could also issue pro-Uyghur, pro-Hong Kong, pro-Afghani (if it was anti-Taliban) pieces with minimal controversy about the “rightness” of the message, but for better or worse these human rights repressions weren’t at the same world-order-shaking scale— China is an authoritarian state with a hideous human rights record, Hong Kong is a small nominally independent part of China, and Afghanistan has been in a state of war for 20+ years. Dronebogus (talk) 05:41, 4 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]
I don’t know what you mean by Georgians, Chechens would be more concerned about violent homophobia than being invaded however long ago, and Iraq, Syria and Palestine would probably be too “third rail” for various reasons. Dronebogus (talk) 05:44, 4 April 2022 (UTC)[reply]


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