Category talk:Articles which lack references

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Could somebody advise what wikifur's standard of reference actually is? For 200+ articles to be tagged this way... uh. We must have one. Right? --Furthling 23:41, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Most (about 130 out of 223) are here from Template:Fact somewhere in the article, so many of them are really just one or two lines needing reference in an otherwise (probably) sufficiently-referenced article. I tend to add one when I see either an uncited direct quote, weasel word statements like "Some people say [whatever]", or claims of a record like "Suchandsuch was the first [whatever]".
I didn't see any direct guideline in the policies or style guide, but it seems to be more or less in line with what I can find. --Riismo 00:11, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Ah, well. I can understand flagging direct quotes and other things that reasonably could be cited, like facts about, say, whether Ethiopian Wolves are endangered or what the total female population of the U.S. Virgin Islands is. On the other paw, I note that the nature of the subject of this Wiki makes me doubt that it can really dispense with individual contributors reporting directly on consensus views, however odious "some people say" may be on Wikipedia. At least not without massively expanding this category. I think I proposed a "nature of the authority" system for classifying assertions in Wikifur here, once. But I don't remember hearing anything back.--Furthling 00:25, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
Fair enough, in a lot of cases a reference can be a lot harder (or sometimes impossible) to find a citation for some useful information, especially considering how often the person editing a page has personal experience regarding the subject. A lot of the time, though, it can be reworded to something almost the same that's either citable or at least verifiable.
"A lot of people say Soandso is a great artist" could instead be "Soandso has one thousand watchers on Furaffinity", so the reader might come to the same conclusion without WikiFur implicitly taking a stance. "Some people say Soandso is a big jerk" becomes "Soandso has been banned from X, Y, and Z" -- even if X, Y, and Z haven't made a public statement on the matter odds are most people have a friend of a friend in X, Y, or Z who can confirm it to them, and WikiFur's reporting a verifiable/refutable fact instead of implicitly saying "Soandso is a big jerk" on its own.
Regardless, it definitely is worth discussing and a policy or guideline about just where the line lies sounds like a good thing. --Riismo 00:59, 7 September 2007 (UTC)
"Weasel words" have their uses. Sometimes, it can be hard to quantify a given situation. Choosing examples may seem like picking on people, and it's hard when there are no prominent examples, just a general feeling. There's not much point in saying they're a jerk, though - being banned from X, Y and Z is enough to establish that (perhaps with any reasons given). "You don't have to say Hitler was a bad person, you just say what he did." Ultimately if people disagree with a statement then they are likely to take it out, and if it gets to that point then perhaps it is time to do a little more citation. --GreenReaper(talk) 08:14, 9 September 2007 (UTC)
Needless to say my concern is not with whether "weasel words" is a valid concept, especially on Wikipedia where there're more clearly defined standards of verifiability and relevance. Rather, it's that much material here is indeed being reported on the basis: "I (ambiguous author) say that several parties (probably not well defined either) observed the subject giving homeless people blankets."
What, for example, would be a sufficient "reference" if I want to claim I said "Howdy," to Trickster at Morphicon? Obviously that's trivial, but so in some sense is so much of what gets reported here. Besides which, what is and isn't trivial is a notoriously disputable subject. I think there's a WHOLE lot of content on Wikifur that is simply there on the authority of the author, and for which there's not likely to be any more reliable reference. A solution to that problem is IMO worth thinking/talking about, as is the meaningfulness of a "lack references" tag. --Furthling 04:50, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
There is no problem, as long as nobody challenges it. If they do, then attempts should be made to substantiate or remove it. The tag is usually used in these circumstances. In practice it is unlikely to be used in the specific example you give - the question will be whether it is worth mentioning or not at all. This may depend on the relative importance of the article. --GreenReaper(talk) 06:51, 10 September 2007 (UTC)