Battlestar Wiki Battlestar Wiki:NPOV dispute

Battlestar Wiki:NPOV dispute

From Battlestar Wiki, the free, open content Battlestar Galactica encyclopedia and episode guide
BSG WIKI Policy.png This page is an official policy of Battlestar Wiki.
This policy is considered by the community and its leadership to be the status quo of Battlestar Wiki and is not to be countermanded or ignored, though changes to it can be discussed on the appropriate talk page. This policy was implemented on 3 November 2007.
This is a derivative work from Wikipedia:NPOV dispute, which is permissible under the GNU FDL.

Overview / How to Tag

Preferred Plate

Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute (NPOV stands for Neutral Point Of View; see below). This means that in the opinion of the person who added this link, the article in question does not conform to NPOV standards. See What links here for a list of articles in NPOV dispute. To add a page to this list, type {{POV check}}, which expands into:

BSG-WIKI Exclaimation.png This article may require editing to conform to the neutral point of view policy.
A Galactipedian has nominated this article to be checked for its neutrality.

Currently there may not be a specific dispute, but the content may need discussion on the talk page.

Use this boilerplate when the article does not appear to conform to NPOV guidelines. You should explain what's wrong with the article on the talk page.

Alternate Plate

There is also an alternate template called {{NPOV}}, which produces the following terse plate:

BSG-WIKI Exclaimation.png The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the relevant discussion on the talk page.

What is NPOV?

Neutral Point Of View. An NPOV (neutral, unbiased) article is an article that has been written without showing a stand on the issue in hand. This is especially important for the encyclopedia's treatment of controversial issues, in which very often there is an abundance of differing views and criticisms on the subject. In a neutral representation, the differing points of view are presented as such, not as facts.

See Battlestar Wiki's neutral point of view page for an exhaustive treatment of the subject.

What is an NPOV dispute?

Often, authors can view their articles as being NPOV, while others disagree. That an article is in an NPOV dispute does not necessarily mean it is not NPOV, only that someone (with the tact and wit to properly link to this page from it) considers it to be not NPOV.

Note, however, that there is a strong inductive argument that, if a page is in an NPOV dispute, it very probably is not neutral. The salient point is that one side—who cares enough to be making the point—thinks that the article says something that other people would want to disagree with.

Probably the only grounds on which there could be an NPOV dispute over an article that actually was acceptable NPOV is when one or both of the parties to the dispute did not understand either the NPOV policy, or enough about the subject matter to realize that nothing controversial had actually been said. For example, ideologues, when presented with an article that has exemplary neutrality (as per our policy), will consider the article biased precisely because it does not reflect their own bias enough. Probably, such people simply do not understand the NPOV policy.

By linking to this page from an article, a dissenter can register his or her concern without unduly upsetting the author(s) or maintainer(s) of the article, and without starting a flame war. Others would maintain, however, that linking to this page only postpones the dispute. This might be a good thing, though, if a "cooling off" period seems required.

Everyone can agree that marking an article as having an NPOV dispute is a temporary measure, and should be followed up by actual contributions to the article in order to put it in such a state that people agree that it has a NPOV.

Which issues are under debate?

The authors of an article will often debate its content in the article's Talk page. This is easily accessed by returning to the article in question, and following the Discuss this page link from the menus (outside the article itself).

How can one disagree about NPOV?

The vast majority of disputes over whether something is NPOV are due to a simple confusion: one party believes "X" to be a fact, and—this part is mistaken (see second example below)—that if a claim is factual, it is therefore neutral. The other party either denies that "X" is a fact, or that everyone would agree that it is a fact. In such a dispute, the first party needs to re-read the neutrality policy. Even if something is a fact, or allegedly a fact, that does not mean that the bold statement of that fact is neutral.

Neutrality is all about presenting competing versions of what the facts are. It doesn't matter at all how convinced we are that our facts are the facts. If a significant number of other interested parties really do disagree with us, no matter how wrong we think they are, the neutrality policy dictates that the discussion be recast as a fair presentation of the dispute between the parties.

There are many ways that an article can fail to be NPOV. Some examples are:

  • The article can simply be biased, and express viewpoints as facts.
  • While all facts might be presented fairly, the very selection (and omission) of facts can make an article biased.
  • Some viewpoints, although not presented as facts, can be given undue attention and space compared to others.
  • The text and manner of writing can insinuate that one viewpoint is more correct than another.
  • The subject or title of the article can imply a particular point of view.
  • A type of analysis of facts that can lead to the article suggesting a particular point of view's accuracy over other equally valid analytic perspectives.
  • The author's own viewpoint is mentioned or obvious.
  • Alternate viewpoints are compared in persuasive terms.

How can neutrality be achieved?

Talking with other contributors is a great way to find out why there is a dispute over an article's neutrality. Ideas and POV's can be shared and ultimately the disputed fact or point can be fixed if it is incorrect or, when dealing with a controversial issue, various legitimate sources can be cited in the article.

Historians commonly cite many sources in books because there is and will always be disputes over history. Contributors on Battlestar Wiki can do the same thing, thus giving readers a broad spectrum of POVs and opinions.

See also: Wikipedia:List of controversial issues, Wikipedia:Accuracy dispute

Note: The above links are to Wikipedia, as they have not yet been adopted by this Wiki.

NPOV disputed articles