Wikipedia talk:In the news/Archive 53

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Weather record question

Thought I'd ask question regarding Hurricane Patricia instead of nominating immediately, though given current trends I will be nominating this tomorrow night regardless... What are the "rules" regarding weather records? Latest data indicates that this storm is going to be classified as the most intense tropical cyclone ever observed in the Western Hemisphere (higher winds than Typhoon Haiyan, for a recent catastrophic comparison although different hemisphere). Pending the next update from the National Hurricane Center, would it be worth bringing this historic storm to the MP on ITN via the record and then supplement it as necessary for the likely tremendous damage it will cause in Mexico? ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 07:34, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

I'd be inclined to say give it a couple of days. "Most intense" is interesting, but if it dissipates at sea doesn't really qualify as "in the news"—in the current climate (sic) weather records aren't unusual (2015 is the hottest year ever recorded globally—records are by definition going to be broken all over the place). An intense storm which fizzles out at sea or in open countryside is less newsworthy than a weaker storm which hits a city. ‑ iridescent 08:47, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
@Iridescent: FWIW, the previous W Hem record was set in 2005 by Hurricane Wilma, this kind of record doesn't topple regularly. I wish it were going out to sea...but sadly it's going to slam into Western Mexico as a Category 5, according to the latest forecast. Landfall is expected in about 18 hours, and coastal communities are without a doubt going to be wiped off the map. I know it sounds overly dramatic, but there are no records of a storm this intense before making landfall in the Western Hemisphere. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 08:53, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
I'd still say wait until it makes landfall, and until there's a better idea of whether the authorities have pulled off the evacuation successfully. I completely get that this has the potential to be as destructive as Yolanda or Katrina, but Mexico likely has better contingency plans than the Philippines. We already have Typhoon Koppu in ITN—if this runs now, we'll have the perverse situation of "storm uproots a few trees and is possibly linked to a landslide" running above "storm kills 50 people and leaves 100,000 homeless". ‑ iridescent 17:51, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

ITN Archives

Any reason ITN not archived. Most recent archive from 2011... Gizmocorot (talk) 17:37, 23 October 2015 (UTC)

From the top of Wikipedia:ITN archives/2011, it appears that the archives are being left to the standard wiki history mechanism; so it might take more work but it can be automated/script-processed to find out what ITN looked like at the start/end of any specific date. --MASEM (t) 17:41, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
They were manually assembled by User:Candlewicke (inactive since 2011) and me by combing through the history of the ITN template. Far too much work to do manually. ITN/C, however, is archived, and one can look there to see which items were posted (although it's not quite as neat and tidy as the Wikipedia:ITN archives page and includes unposted nominations). SpencerT♦C 03:12, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Proposal: All RD listings remain up for seven days

The Rambling Man and myself have recently been disagreeing on the proper way to remove older RD listings from the template. The way they have traditionally been handled, and the way I believe community consensus prefers, is to remove them once they are older than the oldest blurb on the template or seven days from the date of death, whichever happens first. The Rambling Man, citing WP:COMMONSENSE, has adopted the habit of leaving them up for seven days regardless, RD space permitting, and restoring them if they are removed. I frankly don't give two shits one way or the other, but this really should be up to the community, and not the whims of any individual editor. --Bongwarrior (talk) 07:38, 16 October 2015 (UTC)

  • Support per common sense, obviously. For the record, this was discussed above and although with limited participation, it was generally agreed that common sense should prevail, so it was hardly up to the whims of any individual editor. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:46, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
    I'm not sure why the happenstance of how quickly the main ITN listing turns over, would have anything to do with how long the RDs should remain listed. For that matter, I am not even sure how or why it would occur to someone to check the date of the oldest ITN item and compare it to the date of the oldest RD item, in order to apply a rule relating one to the other. Can someone explain how what Bongwarrior is describing as the traditional and consensus practice evolved or why it makes sense? In the absence of such an explanation, The Rambling Man's invocation of common sense would seem sensible here. (But I assume "all RDs should remain up for seven days" is not intended to trump "only three at a time"?) Newyorkbrad (talk) 08:30, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
    Definitely still three at a time. The Rambling Man (talk) 08:42, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. The "older than the oldest blurb on the template" rule is a holdover from when the RD line was an experimental appendage. Nowadays, it's treated more like a separate subsection of ITN, not a pared-down extension of the blurbs. Removing an RD item because an influx of news caused an unrelated blurb to be bumped adds needless complication and provides absolutely no benefit. It's to the detriment of the page's readers, for whom a useful link is replaced with an empty slot. "Leaving them up for seven days regardless, RD space permitting" is far more sensible. —David Levy 08:47, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. At certain times of the year (Nobel Prize time, as we've seen recently, and many sporting events in early summer) there can be a very quick turnover on ITN, which could mean RDs getting removed very quickly (especially they sometimes don't appear until a couple of days after death). Leave them for 7 days, unless the oldest needs to be removed because there are too many RDs pending. Black Kite (talk) 09:12, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support a maximum of three, each remaining for seven days regardless of how quickly the main news blurbs are cycling through. "Seven days" in this context still has the meaning, I assume, of seven days since death (or, if different, date of announcement) not seven days since posting i.e. died on Monday, nominated on Tuesday, improved on Wednesday, posted on Thursday, tweaked on Friday, admired on Saturday, ignored on Sunday, removed on Monday. BencherliteTalk 09:29, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
    No need to go all Craig David on us.... The Rambling Man (talk) 10:42, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
    Solomon Grundy, I was thinking. The alternative version would be: died on Monday, nominated Tuesday, argued about nationalities on Wednesday, argued about sources on Thursday, ignored on Friday, posted on Saturday, pulled on Sunday, ANI on Monday... BencherliteTalk 10:57, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Sensible and simpler than the current standard. I like the "Maximum of 3 entries/Maximum of 7 days" standard. Works for me. --Jayron32 13:07, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support. A common sense idea which should provide for consistency. 331dot (talk) 13:08, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Seven days, space permitting. --MASEM (t) 13:44, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support per commonsense. -Ad Orientem (talk) 17:46, 16 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Seven days, space permitting. Mamyles (talk) 03:03, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Seven days from posting, or from the decession? I'd support this if it said all listing shall stay up for a minimum of 156 and a maximum of 180 hours (i.e., 6.5 - 7.5 days) space allowing. I don't want a post that takes 4 days to go up being pulled off after 48+ hours just because of an arbitrary limit. μηδείς (talk) 03:44, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
There's no such word as "decession". But agree this needs to be totally clear. Do people know what they have voted for? (talk) 08:29, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
7 days from posting, space permitting. I think it's fairly clear that's what people are supporting ("leaving them up for 7 days"). And yes, that means something that is posted at 23:59 on Monday technically could be removed at 00:01 the next Sunday, having been on the main page for 7 separate days, but I think people will treat it sensibly. Black Kite (talk) 08:53, 17 October 2015 (UTC)
It doesn't and shouldn't be as anal as to prescribe a number of hours on the ticker. Seven days means that when convenient to an admin, and after no less than seven days, an item will be removed. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:17, 17 October 2015 (UTC)


Thankfully we seem to have a common sense consensus, so it's now just a case of rewording the admin instructions so we don't have any issues over the interpretation of what is normally and sensibly expected here.

Currently we have : No RD items are to be older than the oldest item on the template with a blurb; an RD item should be removed when it is older than any other item on the template.

I suggest this is replaced with RD items shall remain listed within the template for no longer than seven days after the date of death of the individual. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:00, 18 October 2015 (UTC)

The only thing I would argue on that is the rare case where the person's death was handled discretely for family/friends, and only made public several days later. We would date that nomination on the day the news broke , not on the date of death and that's when the RD timer should start. --MASEM (t) 19:09, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
So you need to propose an "exception" clause. Thanks. Or, we could add something into the admin instructions just to remind us all to continue to use common sense, rather than act like some kind of automaton and blindly follow instruction regardless of the natural stupidity of it.... The Rambling Man (talk) 19:19, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
If we're following process, it should be seven days from the date that the RD is filed at ITN/C. This date is normally the date of death, but as has come up before, when there has been a purpose media silence, we have generally posted that on the date that the news was reported publicly. --MASEM (t) 19:39, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Not sure what you mean by "following process". We have a chance here to clarify how RD works, "following process" or "per community consensus" or whatever is really irrelevant here. RDs are filed on the date of death, what wording do you want to see? The Rambling Man (talk) 19:49, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Remember this discussion? [1] 99% of the RDs are filed at ITNC on the day the person died but per that discussion we recognize there are times that a period of mourning before publication of the death can happen so the RD is posted on the date of the news. As such, the 7 day timer on the RD ticker should start on the date that the ITN/C is listed under, which 99% of the time is the date of the person's date but rarely will be the date the person's death was actually in the news. Note this is not the date that the RD was added by a WP editor, it's the dates that event are filed under that matters. That keeps with your language and accounts for that one exception. --MASEM (t) 19:55, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, once again please let me know what wording you would prefer to see. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:08, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
RD items shall remain listed within the template for no longer than seven days after the date of the ITN/C entry for the death of the individual. --MASEM (t) 20:39, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Cool, now we just need a new instruction as to when RDs are listed at ITNC, particularly those who match your criteria. Please make a proposal. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:40, 18 October 2015 (UTC)
Currently there is no specific instructions to anything dealing with RDs outside of tagging the template to mark it as an RD. I think also an element of common sense comes into play, if its clear that the person's death was purposely held quiet for allowing a period of mourning that would not work for ITN's process, we can be more lenient towards that; either way, saying "7 days from the date the ITN/C was filed under" over "7 days from the date of death" would not impact 99% of the other RDs that we have since those two dates are equivalent otherwise. --MASEM (t) 15:43, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
@The Rambling Man, per what you said above, shouldn't it be "no less than 7 days"? Sorry if I'm misunderstanding the discussion above. SpencerT♦C 01:21, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
No, I've always said seven days from the date of death. I think the original posting's assertion was incorrect. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:33, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I assumed that the proposal's seven-day count began with the date of death (which is, indeed, what the Rambling Man has always said). That's how RD items are labeled, and ITN always goes by the event's date (not the posting date).
I'm fine with the exception for deaths initially kept private. This is comparable to instances in which we treat the announcement of other occurrences (such as scientific discoveries) as the relevant "events". —David Levy 16:12, 19 October 2015 (UTC)
I too agree that it's seven days from date of death, or from the date of the announcement of the death if later, not seven days from posting. I said so in the previous section but am repeating it here from clarity. Would RD items shall remain listed for no more than seven days after the date of death (or, if later, the date on which the death is announced). do the trick? BencherliteTalk 20:28, 20 October 2015 (UTC)
  • I strongly oppose this, because what 7 days after the death means is that a good nomination that needs some work on the article will basically become stale very quickly. One of the points of listing at RD is to encourage article improvement. There are plenty of RD listings I have put work into that have not gone up right away. With a codified 7 days from decession rule, I simply wouldn't bother to put in the work. μηδείς (talk) 21:01, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
    There's no such word as decession, as you've already been told. And I'm not sure I've ever seen the work you suggest you'll be not bothering to put in, but thanks for your comment. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:10, 22 October 2015 (UTC)
Is this a fetish with you, TRM? I remind you of your recent general apology for your combative behaviour (see the thread below for an example of it continuing) and here you pick on my word choice, and offer your feigned ignorance of my editing RD noms as evidence of, well, what, exactly? You obviously understand my point, that a 7 day from death/announcement rule will mean a disincentive to work on older nominations. Could you either address that argument, or simply remain silent if all you have is personal criticism? μηδείς (talk) 00:30, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
Well if you think about it for more than a few seconds, this solution, at least, improves on where we are today with RDs being arbitrarily removed based on something completely independent of them. I have plenty of fetishes, but let me assure you none of them involve you. The Rambling Man (talk) 06:12, 23 October 2015 (UTC)
By the time we get to seven days after posting, which might be eleven or twelve days after death (if the nomination has take four or five days from death to get posted) then the death of the individual is well and truly out of the news cycle. Work on articles improved for the regular section of ITN may similarly not be displayed on the main page for long, if bumped off by newer stories. But in both sections, the work done will have improved the article regardless of how long it is on the main page. An attitude that one will only help improve an article if guaranteed that the result will be on display on the main page for a week is not a very helpful approach, but fortunately I don't get the impression that it's a common one. BencherliteTalk 12:22, 23 October 2015 (UTC)


Ok, so this has been derailed somewhat. But it seems like we're ignoring the current instructions and applying common sense. I'm fine with that until some busy fool points at the instructions, fallaciously claims "policy violation" and we're here all over again. So unless we get some clear agreement on a rewording, we'll just carry on regardless. Common sense is a beautiful thing, and I appreciate Bongwarrior bringing attention to the problem, and I appreciate the general tone of those contributing. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:36, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

What could be done is at WP:ITND to add the line "Deaths are normally nominated at WP:ITN/C on the date that the person died. However, in cases where the person's death has been withheld for several days from the media for respect and privacy, the death may be nominated at WP:ITN/C on the date the death was widely reported." Then we have covered the common sense case both in how the RDs are nominated and how we'd apply the seven day period to them. --MASEM (t) 20:22, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Sounds good, the crux of the original discussion was when they would be removed, not their eligibility to be added. We're already into the realms of subjectivity and it's good to see that common sense should prevail and those who commonly erroneously claim "policy" are being corrected, I'd be happy with your rewording as long as it incorporated the seven-day from submission clause. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:15, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
What I guess this means that for the removal from RD then can be simplified to "7 days from the date the RD was filed under (at the time the RD was posted)" which 99% of the time equals the day of death, but also covers when there is this delay and we post the death later. Or another way could be "7 days from the date of death, or as outlined at ITND for delayed death reporting, seven days since the death was formally reported." --MASEM (t) 22:36, 25 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes, as long as it clearly removes the relationship from the ITN blurbs, and it has a prescribed duration, i.e. not to exceed 7 days, then we're good to go. A precisely worded replacement for our RD instructions is now required, and I guess we need a proper "proposal" etc, so we don't have to continually and fallaciously refer back to some pseudo-RFC and refer to it as policy. Would you be good enough to create a new section with a proposed wording that we can finally attempt to gain consensus on, and one that replaces the current No RD items are to be older than the oldest item on the template with a blurb; an RD item should be removed when it is older than any other item on the template. wording. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:42, 25 October 2015 (UTC)

Listing events sorted by dates but not time

Recently, results of the F1 race and the Guatemalan presidential elections happened on the same day and the same time zone. However, Guatemalan blurb was placed below the F1 one, even when it technically happened later. I reported this at WP:ERRORS, but the whole thing hasn't been yet remedied. Later, the report was removed as "non-error". Also, The Rambling Man said that I'm wasting people's time, but lately I can show him the similar situation was fixed ten years ago. While I researched, this is not the first time. 10 years ago (i.e. in 2005), it appeared to have been fixed right away. (I'm unsure about this one that happened nine years ago, but I'll look into it.) Why can it not be fixed now? Are there other situations that happened before? --George Ho (talk) 22:34, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Keeping in mind that we work by practice and not by defined rules, the order of events posted to ITN appear to be based on when they are added to the line when an admin deemed the item ready to post, and not respective of the date or order listed at ITN/C (That is: a 7 day old event that just squeaks by in getting consensus to post may be posted before a freshly nominated, supported ITN/C). This I think is fine, in terms of giving all ITN supported items as close to equal time, it minimizes "paperwork" of figuring out how to sort these, and it avoids the thinking that ITN is just a news ticker since items can be listed out of order. Again: keep in mind that ITN's goal should be to highlight good quality articles that happen to be ITN. Posting order has little importance here. --MASEM (t) 22:39, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
That's actually not correct. You seem to be saying that an older item would be slotted at the top of the list if it was added later. That actually isn't how it works. Items are slotted by the day they occur on. So George is at least somewhat correct. We just don't do it any more accurately than down to the day; no primacy is given to either of two items which occurred on the same day. See below. --Jayron32 23:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I could have sworn the few times that when I looked at the blurb box and remembered a conflict between posting and event order that it seems posting order was used, but this was literally a few times (2-3). Nearly all the time I look, the events are as you state, in event order. My bad. (But I agree in general this is a very odd thing to get hung up about). --MASEM (t) 00:34, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
Seriously? Five people tell you at WP:ERRORS that it's not a problem to have a pictured item at the top of its day's entries, so you find a discussion from 10 years ago that doesn't involve consideration of an item with a picture and think that that's a binding precedent? BencherliteTalk 23:08, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Seriously, an auto race above elections? Readers would wrongly assume that the election is older news than auto race when they see it at Main Page. And any picture is... trivial to me, although they attract. George Ho (talk) 23:14, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Items are added to the ITN list based upon the date of the event, not when they were added to the line. You'll see when you edit T:ITN hidden comments that are date stamps, so items can be slotted correctly. It frequently happens that items are slotted somewhere else than the topmost slot, when they are older than that item. ITN items generally stay on the main page for a week-ish, which is usually more than sufficient for the item to outlast its own news cycle. The level of granularity that George Ho seems to be asking for is unnecessary, as two items posted from the same day will both be stale enough when they roll off the list. We even add or subtract the bottommost item for reasons unrelated to staleness, such as to avoid white space on the main page. There is no necessity to spend resources assuring that either of two very stale ITN entries stays on the main page slightly longer for the difference of a few hours in when the event happened. In summary, we've never cared about being accurate down to the exact timing of events, the day is sufficient, as there's no real reason why we should care. --Jayron32 23:12, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
    • +1. WP:ITN/A already says ITN items are in a bulleted list, ordered chronologically by date of occurrence (but not necessarily chronologically within that date) not by date they were added and that's enough, particularly when (as here) it makes more sense for the pictured item to come as high as possible in the template. BencherliteTalk 23:15, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
The auto blurb has longer characters and more lines than the Guatemalan elections one, but that's not the case. Of course, my main concern are oldest blurbs at the bottom of the ITN and how long they will stay. George Ho (talk) 23:17, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
And as I, and others have noted, they'll both be sufficiently stale when the time comes to be bumped. The current oldest event is from 21 October over a week ago. Both the election and the race will be out of the news cycle by the time either hits the bottom of the list, so it makes no difference at all. --Jayron32 23:22, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Here is timeline of Guatemalan election. The article uses the Eastern Standard Time; Guatemala does not observe daylight saving time, but Austin, Texas, does. I checked the F1 schedule and the announcement. I'll leave judgments to you. George Ho (talk) 23:58, 28 October 2015 (UTC)
Not one person has yet said that you were incorrect on the timing of the events. What every single person, except you, has said is "it doesn't matter". --Jayron32 01:45, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

Now that the Polish elections are posted above the two, I'm too tired to continue the thread. I can see that it's sorted in posting order, not time of events. But, with three on the same day in any order, I start to lose interest in this matter. Who says posting and organizing stories are easy? Meanwhile, I focused on other articles of old events and of historical figures. George Ho (talk) 01:52, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

I know that this matter is not that big deal to you. However, we are having another nomination of another election that happened on the same day. What if there are five or six events of the same day posted? --George Ho (talk) 06:50, 29 October 2015 (UTC)

If ITN is ever that busy, it will be a good problem to have. Having 5-6 new, quality updates to Wikipedia articles on current events every single day sounds wonderful. We should be so lucky that people were interested in updating articles so much. --Jayron32 12:49, 29 October 2015 (UTC)
The Guatemalan elections is pushed out because there are two newer stories. Auto race and Polish elections, technically older than Guatemalan, are still in place. Meanwhile, I'm going to check one of newest nominations soon. --George Ho (talk) 15:56, 30 October 2015 (UTC)
Forty-one hours after the Guatemalan elections was pushed out, the F1 race was removed to balance the Main Page, and then shortly the Raif Badawi recipient story (which I co-worked on) pushed out the Polish elections. If Guatemalan one was posted above the two, the Polish elections would have been removed earlier under technical time announcement. Then the Guatemalan one would have stayed forty-one hours longer than the Polish one. Georgie says "Happy Halloween!" (BOO!) 02:27, 1 November 2015 (UTC)
If that ever happens, I sometimes try to mix up the order, so 2 elections related items or 2 sports related items aren't clumped together, rather than trying to figure out to the minute when things occurred. SpencerT♦C 05:32, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Minimum time for ITN (not RD) entries

Going by diffs, the ITN for Badawi was added here [2] and in 17 hrs was removed here [3]. I recognize that this is the process and there's no issue with any of the editors involved. It's just that I've not recalled a situation where there has been that much movement of stories in general, but I don't think this is necessary a good situation, particularly when the story that kicked it out (to keep the box size) was about a horse racing event. Given that the point of ITN is to highlight quality articles that happen to have subjects in the news, as to helpfully attract editors to the articles, I feel that we should not be replacing any stories until they have at least had 24 hr at ITN. If there are stories that come along to be posted that are not of high importance ("high importance"I would consider that being the result of a natural disaster like an earthquake, a airplane disaster, or a major war/conflict issue such as the recent Russia involvement in Syria), I feel we should try to queue these stories and only add and replace when we can knock off an old ITN that is at least 24hr old. In the rare case where we have stories all <24hr old and then a pressing news story comes along that gets support to be posted, this is the only time to make an exception if the posting of the pressing news story requires the removal of an old story to fit the ITN space on the main space, and/or we add it without removal but then remove the oldest story at the first chance it comes by, knowing this might make the main page section for ITN a bit fleshed out but this is reasonable for a period of less than 24hr. --MASEM (t) 21:50, 1 November 2015 (UTC)

We try our best and it's a little difficult to quantify the relative importance of items to make a queue (especially since it's quite rare when we have a large influx of items at the same time). There's enough drama at ITN without bringing that in. It's worth noting that DYK items are only on the Main Page for 12 hours (so 17hrs is still longer than that), but I think adding more process wonkery to ITN would ultimately make things more confusing at the risk of an a very fast ITN turnover (that happens less than ~5 times per year). SpencerT♦C 05:21, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure how, in practice, this could work. If an item is ready and has consensus to be posted, would it have to wait until the oldest item becomes 24 hours old before it can be posted? What if we have a backlog of ready-to-go events? We can't just "flesh out" ITN without disturbing the balance of the main page, by the way... The Rambling Man (talk) 08:11, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Masem sorry, forgot to ping you, your response here would be helpful. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:22, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Only brainstorming here, but I'm trying to think if we had a queue that worked behind the scenes of stories that have been tagged for posting would help. Let's imaging this all could be automated, so that we can think backwards: the process for ITN would be to instead of adding an agreed item for posting to ITN directly, you would add it to this queue; the item would have either an "important" flag (eg plane crashes, major natural disasters, etc.) or not. We then have a bot that is smart enough that sees the time stamps of all currently posted items at ITN and this queue. Once every 15 minutes (perhaps) the bot examines the queue, and if not empty, takes the oldest "important" ITN item and failing that, the oldest ITN item. If the queue item is "important" the bot immediately drops the oldest item on the ITN list and adds the important item. If the queue item is not important, the bot checks the oldest entry to see if its 24hr from it was posted, and if so , kicks it off and adds the new item. If that 24hr hasn't passed, the item is returned to the queue (as to set up the next check doing the same thing until 24hr has passed).
Obviously, this is all hypothetical if a bot or script can be made to run this smart, and if we can't have such automation, I would not recommend we try to make this work ourselves. The automation is necessary for this to be smooth. --MASEM (t) 21:08, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
This is way too complicated. So can we just find a way that uses humans please? The Rambling Man (talk) 21:18, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Congratulations to ITN!

Just a quick perusal of today's items and we have a brilliantly diverse selection of topics, including a aeroplane crash in Africa, political change in Romania, a hurricane in Yemen, the first female winner of the seminal horse race in the Southern Hemisphere and America's favourite, the World Series winners. To boot, we have a pan-European ongoing topic, and three RDs, one from the UK, one from Iraq and one from Germany. One word: eclectic. Well done to all those who contribute positively to the process. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:14, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Eclecticism and variety should be welcomed, I agree. Now, if only the (extremely boring) argy-bargy in the field of UK v US could gradually diminish, this would be a positive development in general too, making the ITN/C page more attractive for participation (in the view of one very sporadic contributor). ---Sluzzelin talk 21:59, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Until some of the US contributors realise this is English language Wikipedia, not American Wikipedia, that little issue will always exist: "Hey, a billion people speak English in India and Pakistan? Not Inidipakish?!! You don't say...." The Rambling Man (talk) 22:02, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
It should be common sense that news from around the world rarely is distributed as "equally" as it is now, particularly given that three of the events listed are things no one planned or could have predicted. We should not be flailing around when ITN might be full of US or UK stories, as the next week it could be full of China-related stories, or similar. News is sporadic. What we can do is try to watch for more stories from around the world to nominate things across a broader geographic range, but that's also leads to the problem that we do require quality articles (something we do need to stand firm on) and that requires editors to actually engage in developing these articles, and that requires something beyond the bounds that ITN can control. has a clear US/UK/North American/Western Europe focus simply due to the demographics of editors, so naturally, because of how the broader systematic bias favors articles in these geographic regions means that our ITN will unfortunately weight on that side.
The one thing under ITN's control is not only looking better for stories from underrepresented geographic regions but to then make sure those articles on those stories get the help their need to be front page material; an editor claims about such bias but doesn't lift a finger to help make sure that the nominations are up to par is not helping the situation. We should always strive to have broad coverage of events from across the globe but we should not try to force that diversity of topics. --MASEM (t) 23:00, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I agree with highlighting underrepresented geographic regions to the best of our ability (I've found a major limiting factor in this has been very few usable references available for articles about people from, say, Bangladesh), but I disagree that there has been any sort of bias toward North America whatsoever. Quite the contrary, I'd argue. -Kudzu1 (talk) 03:06, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Rambling Man's bias is showing again. Do we need to bring up The Boat Race again? Stop being so anal about most editors being from the country with the most native English-speakers.Correctron (talk) 00:04, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
By all means! The Rambling Man (talk) 06:57, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

What makes a "quality article" for RD purposes?

There are often comments on RD nominations (mine and other people's!) about the quality of the article of the target person. I'm trying to follow this to see what the consensus is on what makes "quality" (yes, realise this could be rather subjective!). In the RD criteria it states the article must be "satisfactorily updated" and have "no major omission of life's events". Is there anything further to consider when updating to meet RD criteria e.g quality of prose, word count, reliability of sources etc? Cheers! MurielMary (talk) 20:52, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

As a rough guide, "not a stub", "no maintenance tags", "explains why the person was considered significant" and "reliable source for their death cited in the article" are absolute and non-flexible requirements. Although it relates to a different process, items 2 & 4 of the DYK criteria are a fairly good rule of thumb. (Bear in mind that under Wikipedia rules, somebody recently deceased still counts as a "living person".) ‑ iridescent 20:59, 6 November 2015 (UTC)
In addition to what Iridescent stated, my own rules of thumb include:
  • Something of reasonable length to explain why the person is important, looking for something of at least DYK lenght (1500 characters, or about 2-3 good sized paragraphcs). A stubby-BLP is not useful. If we're talking a blurb, this better be a well-developed article to explain why the person's death should deserve a blurb.
  • At bare minimum, one inline source per paragraph. All quotes are immediately sourced, and if there's sections that are about importance or claims of importance, I will look for more density of sourcing. It's not required to be one source per sentence, but there are times it does need to be this high if the claims are potentially contentious. It is less an issue when we're talking about someone's body of work, such as films or books, which can eventually be sourced that that person starred/wrote that and while eventually necessary for FA/GA, is just basically busy-work, so it's not as contentious as other factors.
  • Copyright violations and/or press release type information. This can sneak by particularly from foreign language sources where it's hard to search on the original non-English text, but if the copy looks overly promotional, that's a flag something probably needs to be rewritten.
  • If it is an RD, a one or two sentence update that basically says "so and so died on date from (reasons)". The more than can be written, great, but the "update" part of ITN is not as important here as compared to other ITN stories. --MASEM (t) 21:41, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

Cyclone Chapala

Cyclone Chapala made landfall on 3 November: [4], [5]. That was four days ago. Yes, there was a lot of rain. Two people died: [6]. But now it's over. It's not in the news. I should not be on main page. (talk) 09:27, 7 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Then help the process by nominating new items at WP:ITNC so that the cyclone item will drop off the bottom of the page. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:01, 7 November 2015 (UTC)
    • It had a 9 meter storm surge that destroyed the seafront of a port city of 300,000. Just because people evacuated didn't mean it wasn't damaging. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 01:31, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
      • All maybe very true, and very relevant. Unless the discussion happens at WP:ITNC, it is impotent to bring it up here. --Jayron32 10:55, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Two horse listing? Is ITN a joke these days?

Is this seriously helping with the ITN stated goals - "to direct readers to articles that have been substantially updated to reflect recent or current events of wide interest. ITN supports the central purpose of Wikipedia—making a great encyclopedia." And before anyone mentions systemic bias, four out of five current listings are sports related, all about English speaking country, three of them about USA. I feel like ITN is becoming more and more of niche interests trivia section DYK lookalike. Sorry if this ruffles the feathers of ITN contributors, but may I suggest some soul searching might be in order? How far has this section gone off its noble goal, born - as the section's own intro describes it - in the aftermath of 9/11? 80% sports coverage, out of which 50% is horse rating - is it really something that belongs on the Main Page of the worlds' #1 encyclopedia? --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 04:29, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

I don't like it either, but the events are ITN/R, and the articles were updated, which means there isn't much of an alternative but to post them. You could attempt to get consensus to remove them at WP:ITN/R's talk page. Banedon (talk) 04:50, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I have been complaining for years and now it's come to this: 80% of the ITN blurbs are indeed sports, as of this posting. My last attempt to get some perspective was to rename the feature "In News and Sports," so at least the title of the feature was more accurate. If we continue this way, we can consider a change to "In Sports and News." Seriously, I still champion the idea of making all sports items a permanent "ongoing" sports tab. Otherwise, the fabulous Main page location is in fact a joke: just about humans chasing balls or racing on the backs of animals. Jusdafax 07:49, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Perspective please. A few weeks ago we had nothing but Nobel Prizes all over ITN. As always the best way to counter this kind of "thing" is to nominate alternative articles, or suggest other topics for inclusion (or removal) at ITNR, which is where the majority of the sports items come from. Just moaning about it really achieves nothing at all. The Rambling Man (talk) 08:06, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Although my adopted proposal many months ago to locate sports in "ongoing" failed to achieve consensus, the fact that consensus can change is established Wiki-policy. That proposal (a vital action, and hardly "moaning") gained substantial support at the time. Perhaps it's time to re-examine that idea, rather than battle each and every sports-supporter here by each individual ITN/R event, each with their own fans. I say what ITN is now is a disgrace. Let's fix it. Jusdafax 08:34, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
I've provided you with two different approaches already, start nominating items for delisting from ITNR and start nominating new items for ITNR. You can also nominate new items at ITNC. I don't see much of that going on from any of those who are moaning about the process being "a disgrace". The Rambling Man (talk) 09:21, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
@Piotrus: TRM is exactly correct. If you don't like what is posted,(for example if you don't feel horse racing meets the criteria) please participate. It also is not ITN's fault that these horse racing events occurred at the same time. 331dot (talk) 09:25, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
So the only response the ITNati has to the growing swathe of complaints regarding the over-saturation of sports articles (particularly horse-racing) is to say "nominate alternative articles". Alternative articles have been nominated and they have failed due to the arbitrary nomination procedures and guidelines set in place. Obviously this solution does not hold water anymore. We need something more drastic. Or are we concluding horse-racing, boat-racing, car-racing etc is the pinnacle of importance on ITN? (talk) 12:36, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
No, there's also a suggestion to nominate the various undesirable ITNR items for removal from ITNR, thus reducing the number of sports stories. Alternatively we can all just sit here and cry "SHAME" and do nothing. The Rambling Man (talk) 12:49, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Kogalymavia Flight 9268, a massive human interest story, wasn't on ITN for more than 3 DAYS before it was kicked off by sports stories. SHAME! (talk) 12:38, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
And then it was moved to Ongoing before being removed by consensus, so you can blame the community at large for that, not the process, which worked just fine. The Rambling Man (talk) 12:49, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
If the process allows errors to happen, it is not designed to be robust enough. There are possible low-maintenance solutions, such as limit the number of concurrent sporting entries ITN to one. As for too many Nobel coverage - introduce a rule that no ITN box should devote more than one entry to each topic. Nobels are, arguably, more important than any horse racing competition, but they should fit in one (if longer) line (I would be totally fine with just a short announcement about them being awarded this year). --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 13:04, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Where was the error? Which sporting ITN would be the "one"? The first one? The "most viewed" one? As for Nobel prize winners fitting in a single line, I'm afraid that's simply untrue. The Rambling Man (talk) 13:16, 4 November 2015 (UTC)
Start an RFC on your proposal. Wait for consensus to develop. TRM, as much time as he spends at ITN, has zero power to unilaterally enact your rule. If you want to change the way something at Wikipedia works, you are quite allowed to invite people into a formal discussion, and make a proposal. --Jayron32 02:38, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Main Page history/2015 October 9 - this is what the ITN section looks like during Nobel season. On the following day, Wikipedia:Main Page history/2015 October 10, one Nobel prize had knocked off another. Out of interest, Piotrus, how would you rearrange or rewrite ITN during Nobel season, when on 9th October we had 9 people sharing 4 different prizes? How much shorter can the blurbs be, without running into the criticism that some of the most prestigious awards in the world are being treated less favourably than any other standard item at ITN? Or if you would only run one, which one, and when would you run the others, if at all? I don't follow what you're really suggesting for Nobels. And, inevitably of course, since this complaint started we're back down to one horse-racing story, since something else has been nominated and posted - that's the way to do it. BencherliteTalk 13:53, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Others have made the points more appropriately - barring decisions at ITNR to remove some of those, we cannot help that many of these common events run close to each other. (We're in election season so there seems to be election news every day from a different country, for example). The only thing that I think we can do better is that when there are two closely related items, in this case like the two horse races, is to make a combined blurb, even if it would be long. We've done it before with different auto races (a NASCAR verses an F1 event, both at ITNR, for example). But we simply have no control of when recurring events happen or when novel/one-time events happen. --MASEM (t) 16:19, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

How about just deleting ITN/R entirely? That allows users to exercise their judgment on what to post and what not to. For example, the World Chess Championships is currently listed in ITN/R. However, if there are already three sports-related blurbs, or if there are other significant events happening (e.g. Olympics, Nobel prizes), some people might oppose posting this, no matter what the state of the article may be. With ITN/R that would not be a tenable position. Banedon (talk) 02:08, 5 November 2015 (UTC)

The World Chess Championships are in November of even years now. There are no Nobels or Olympics in November (they tried that once and it caused so much disruption that Sydney 2000 was mostly September). Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 02:31, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
@Banedon: We get criticism for using too much judgement, while you are saying we don't use enough. Who would determine what is "significant" to stay within an arbitrary limit? 331dot (talk) 02:34, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
You can, also, use "crowds out other items" as a rationale for removing items from ITNR, though removing something would not prevent it from being nominated at ITNC. 331dot (talk) 02:36, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I don't know about the timing of the World Chess Championships with the Olympics / Nobels etc - it's just an example. But as the latest complaint indicates, overlaps certainly occur. @331dot, I don't know what others may think, but I certainly think that there already is an element of subjectivity in ITN. Given the same event, some might say it is worthy of ITN and others may not. In the end consensus rules, and consensus is based on the subjective opinion of the majority. There are no objective criteria that decides whether an event is worthy or not, except ITNR. Why half and half? Either eliminate subjectivity entirely and post only events listed on ITNR, or go the other way and rely on subjectivity entirely. I find the first option unpalatable, but think the second would be workable. Banedon (talk) 02:53, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Indeed. The problem is that certain type of events are going to receive undue coverage, for a number of reasons. The question to answer, then, is whether ITN should try to aim for some sort of balance. If no, then I think at the very least the name should be changed, from "In the News", which suggests balance, to "Trivia News" or "Random News-bites" or such. And if you think those sound ridiculous, well, I think that a section called "In the News" that can have coverage of 80% sports/40% horse racing is ridiculous, for a serious encyclopedia, to sport (pun intended) on the front page. Unless we can ensure that such ridiculousness won't happen again, then I do stand by calling ITN process broken. --Piotr Konieczny aka Prokonsul Piotrus| reply here 07:33, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
I've advocated a name change before, to attempt to better reflect that ITN is not a news ticker but a way to improve and feature articles, but none has received consensus. 331dot (talk) 09:54, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
Are you actually doing something to help or are you just moaning about a coincidence of ITNRs? I'm not clear. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:42, 5 November 2015 (UTC)
You are not helping to create an environment in which people feel encouraged to contribute, just saying. Banedon (talk) 01:17, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
If people just want to moan and do nothing, then they should find other places to contribute. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:02, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
People are only going to contribute if they feel they can achieve something meaningful. This is far from the only time ITN has been criticized for this thing; it's just that only the people who think ITN works continue to contribute to it, and each time someone criticizes ITN this way they are outnumbered. It could very well be that the majority of Wikipedia editors think ITN needs major reform, but because they show up one by one, the consensus always appears to be against them, and nothing changes. Telling people the equivalent of "shut up and contribute" does not make people feel like contributing. Banedon (talk) 12:45, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Far from telling people to "shut up and contribute", I'm telling people to "moan AND contribute" or "do something else". Just "moaning" is not the way Wikipedia works. The Rambling Man (talk) 13:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Section Break

I think we could use an RfC or something similar to see what the consensus is on whether things like what happened when Poitrus started this thread is a problem or not. I'm not sure how to phrase it however. Opinions? Banedon (talk) 12:45, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

We cannot control when events occur, and if people feel certain events should not be posted, they should contribute,either by making nominations, proposing undesired ITNR items for removal, or propose the changes they want to see. It's just that simple. We also see many drive-by criticisms without those who do so acting on them. I don't think we need a RfC to tell us that. If people want changes, they need to be here. 331dot (talk) 12:48, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Piotrus has been here long enough to know how to start an RFC. If he actually wanted to cause change to happen, he'd have done so by now. His actions make a clear indication that his sole goal was to belittle people who feel differently about things than he does, not to actually cause a change to happen. If you want to start an RFC, feel free to. Instructions are at WP:RFC. --Jayron32 12:55, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Pointless waste of energy. As has been explained countless times, to actually do something about this, start nominating new ITNs, start nominating old ITNRs for removal, write to the people who give out Nobel prizes and get them to spread the awards out over the year, not a week.... The Rambling Man (talk) 13:01, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Bento Rodrigues dam burst

Does anybody know if there is an article on Bento Rodrigues dam burst. I see Disruption of the Dams of Bento Rodrigues was created but it needs major work.. Thoughts? Thanks, JMHamo (talk) 17:25, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

This page is for discussing ITN itself; I would suggest going to the Help Desk or the Reference Desk with your question. 331dot (talk) 17:37, 9 November 2015 (UTC)
Thanks @331dot:, I wasn't sure if this was the right place. JMHamo (talk) 17:44, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Shootings and explosions in Paris cause at least 129 deaths

Can I assume this is a very bad, Charlie Hebdo bad, joke? I am pretty sure that gunmen and bombers killed at least 129 Parisians, rather than 129 Parisians were killed buy guns and bombs that "went off". μηδείς (talk) 04:41, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Not sure the exact nature of the issue here, but if it's the article that needs work, fix it, and if it's the blurb that's upsetting you, please read the instructions and see WP:ERRORS. The Rambling Man (talk) 08:37, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
You can't be serious. If you don't see the major fucking problem that Medeis has explained, then you have a competence issue. Viriditas (talk) 10:23, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
You have a serious problem, I suggest you take your clear anger issues out on someone who is prepared to deal with your childlike outbursts. The Rambling Man (talk) 13:47, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
They're blaming the trigger pullers instead of the weapons. Maybe some British aren't familiar with this but it is common in the US for some to make a distinction between the weapons offender and the weapon. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 14:01, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Because, you know, 1/3rd of Americans own guns. Sagittarian Milky Way (talk) 14:05, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
I think one way to read this is that until official investigations have completed, we don't know if the bombs were planted or worn; in other words, the language avoids specifically blaming any persons without evidence (something BLP warns us against). Now once it is determined the group (likely ISIS but they're still working that out), then saying they were killed by shooters and bombers would make sense. --MASEM (t) 14:49, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Add more altblurbs?

Adding more blurbs has been not someone else's favorite thing, but it should be encouraged. Otherwise, we might alter the blurbs and then confuse readers. I don't see anything wrong with adding more blurbs other than to confuse administrators who lack consideration for readers and quality. I was gonna say "common sense", but I don't know what common reactions to adding blurbs are. --George Ho (talk) 20:58, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

Also, someone added altblurb4, unaware of TRM's blatant opposition to this. Masem, care to comment? --George Ho (talk) 21:07, 14 November 2015 (UTC)

I added back ALT3 and ALT4 (false alarm) because of recent usage. I see that I'm the only one for now bringing up the general issue of adding more alts. --George Ho (talk) 00:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

The process has managed for many years without so many alt blurbs, frankly it's somewhat pathetic to assume that we cannot arrive at a suitable blurb without having to provide six subtly different suggestions. Admins often tweak the proposal before posting in any case, this fixation with adding more and more alt blurbs just makes nominations more cluttered and more confusing to assess consensus. There's no need to keep edit warring over this George, just use common sense, if that's possible. The Rambling Man (talk) 08:35, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry for late reply. Look, other administrators... may not see adding more blurbs a bigger deal; neither do anybody else. "Common sense" is... ambiguous unless we know which senses administrators and other people share in regards to this. I'll ask Muboshgu (and ping Masem again) their opinions on this. George Ho (talk) 22:06, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Look, we don't need the obfuscation of six or more suggested blurbs. Most of them are a waste of time. We have WP:ERRORS for people to discuss issues they feel pertinent. These blurbs which are incrementally added undermine the support votes that happen before their addition. You must understand that, right? The Rambling Man (talk) 22:15, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
We'll see about that. WP:ERRORS can be a waste if no blurb has mistakes. ERRORS can't handle non-error disputes. George Ho (talk) 22:37, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
Of course it can, and often does. But perhaps you weren't aware of that. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:41, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
That goes against the purpose of reporting errors. George Ho (talk) 22:48, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

Why is the Paris story still on top?

The three most recent In The News stories (shown in the order they appear on the home page) are:

  • At least 132 people are killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris, including 89 at the Bataclan theatre (pictured).
  • Kurdish forces retake the Yazidi city of Sinjar from ISIS militants.
  • Following a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation, the IAAF suspends Russia from all international competition in the sport of athletics.

However of the three, the Paris story is the oldest, as shown by the nomination history:

4.4 November 13

   4.4.1 [Posted] Liberation of Sinjar
   4.4.2 [Posted] Russia athletic suspension
   4.4.3 [Posted] Paris shooting/bombing

Is there a reason why the Paris story is on top, especially since consensus in the discussion in the section above seems to be that it should not be retained on top? Gfcvoice (talk) 01:07, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

It's not so much about nomination history than it is about the chronological order in which the events happened. The Paris shooting / bombing occurred the most recently of the three events, even though it was the first nomination to be posted. Banedon (talk) 01:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
And Paris has the picture which pushes it to the top of its day. Stephen 01:28, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Sometimes, Gfcvoice, administrators would like to order them in weird ways. I brought this up at #Listing events sorted by dates but not time, but there weren't Paris attacks and Russian suspension. Actually, there were Guatemalan elections, Polish elections and auto race in Texas on the same day. Technically, Guatemalan one was most recent, but it got pushed out when it went to the bottom. More than 40 hours later, two more got pushed out. George Ho (talk) 02:21, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Nomination history has no bearing at all on the ordering of events within the ITN section of the main page. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:20, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

The Rambling Man, what factor(s) have bearing on the ordering of events within the ITN section of the main page? Gfcvoice (talk) 10:11, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
Two I can think of. One: the actual time the event took place. Two: if a picture is associated with a blurb, the blurb is often prioritised at the top. Is there a specific problem with this ongoing global news event being top? The Rambling Man (talk) 10:18, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The instruction block at the top of WP:ITN states "Events posted on ITN are listed in approximately chronological order, with the more recent entries appearing first. They are generally not sorted by any degree of importance or significance." This has been in the instruction block more-or-less in this wording for many years. All of the three top events occurred on November 13, and there's no preference given between items which occur on the same day. Posting admins will often keep the topmost item with the picture until such time as a newer item pushes it down. So, when an event which occurs on November 14 or later (or when an item on November 13 with another picture is promoted) the Paris item will be pushed lower. If it is important to anyone to force the Paris item out of the topmost position, improve an article about a more recent event and then nominate it at WP:ITNC. --Jayron32 13:37, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

[Closed] Keep Paris on top?

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

We appear likely to post the UFC story soon. Is there any interest in keeping the Paris attacks as the top story, for at least a few days? This is just a massive story for now, and probably will be for some time. I think if we add other stories on top right now, it looks like we're downplaying the magnitude of the event. Just wanted to get some thoughts on how we should proceed - I'm not sure if there is any precedent for "stickying" a blurb in that way. --Bongwarrior (talk) 20:29, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

As mentioned earlier, I support making it a "sticky blurb" for at least a few days, but no longer than maybe three (starting today). We can cross the "ongoing" bridge" when the blurb gets close to being knocked off down the road as well. ~ Cyclonebiskit (chat) 20:34, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose - Wikipedia is not a memorial site. We shouldn't do what other websites are doing: commemorating the victims of the attacks in Paris. Also, the whole thing is pointless. A reader can see a story even when it's not on top. --George Ho (talk) 20:42, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

    Moreover, one exciting story and one sports story make ITN a nice mixture of moods. I prefer the newest blurb on top as always. George Ho (talk) 20:45, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose per George Ho. The attack has gotten plenty of attention, but that doesn't mean we should pin it to the front page indefinitely. It could be made an "ongoing" sticky when it's the last item if there's still developments. – Muboshgu (talk) 20:46, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose as a complete requirement creep on ITN. Once it drops off the bottom, if it's still in the news, it'll head to Ongoing. That, after all, is part of the point of Ongoing. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:52, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
    • Comment Rambling Man, it seems that you are the editor who posted both the "Liberation of Sinjar" article and the "Russia athletic suspension" article. Would you be able to respond to the section I created below?Gfcvoice (talk) 01:14, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose, unless and until we establish consensus to routinely order the ITN blurbs based on assessments of the events themselves (which, for the record, I would oppose for multiple reasons not covered below).
    A one-off or occasional exception is the worst possible approach. When someone unfamiliar with ITN's format mistakenly assumes that we've deemed the "top" item more important than something else, we explain that ITN doesn't work that way. To make it work that way – but not on a regular basis – would invite valid complaints that we're "downplaying the magnitude" of the next "massive story" to arise. —David Levy 21:18, 15 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose and also move the article below both the "Liberation of Sinjar" article and the "Russia athletic suspension" article, for reasons given in the section below. Gfcvoice (talk) 01:08, 16 November 2015 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Restore another oldest blurb?

The Main Page is off-balanced. Another oldest but recent blurb would help more. Probably a discovery in space or something else? --George Ho (talk) 16:01, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

It looks to be aligned currently. --Jayron32 16:18, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
That depends on computer monitors and resolutions. --This is George Ho actually (Talk) 18:51, 18 November 2015 (UTC)
Yes it does, so for you it's not great and for other people it might be great. Hence the pointlessness of this. The Rambling Man (talk) 19:14, 18 November 2015 (UTC)

Nascent story - potential big one, or just a temporary sensation

I feel as though this could become a big deal. Certainly the theoreticals they give are fear striking, but I see where it could be similar to the daily sea level rise news Antibiotic resistance: World on cusp of 'post-antibiotic era'. On the radio it said china and other SE Asian countries had been overusing a last ditch antibiotic regularly, which the west was unaware of, and now there may be an immunity developing to that. B137 (talk) 06:41, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

This page is to discuss the ITN process itself; if you want to suggest an event for posting to ITN, please do so at the candidates page, if there is an article that has been or will be updated on the subject. That said, I'm not sure this general issue is suitable for posting without a specific event to hang our hat on. 331dot (talk) 12:01, 19 November 2015 (UTC)

Closed: Arranging events of the same day

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions says that events are arranged on date of occurrence. Events that occurred on the same day have been arranged in any order rather than time of occurrence. Rules on arranging events occurred on the same day may not exist. If an exact time of occurrence may not exist, at least we have time zones that can help us figure out when an event occurred. Shall we arrange events of the same day based on time? Also, shall we use time zones to arrange events of the same day? --George Ho (talk) 18:00, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

  • Oppose adding instructions to have a granularity more specific than "by date". Some flexibility is necessary for any number of reasons, including reasons we haven't yet thought of, and it is not generally necessary to get it down to the exact time more specifically than date. I've been doing this for many years, and not yet seen any widespread problems caused by the current practice. --Jayron32 18:18, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • What Jayron said. "Granularity" is the word I was trying to think of at WP:ERRORS. --Floquenbeam (talk) 18:19, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • (edit conflict) And this is a big problem because...? Sometimes it's just best to accept that there is no precise timeline to find, or at least not one that can be found without unreasonable bureaucracy developing. Example: In country A, elections are held, closing at Xpm. Results are counted, but exit polls immediately point to Mrs Foo beating Mr Bar. Five hours later, Mrs Foo claims victory based on preliminary results from the first declared districts, but Mr Bar says that it's too early to say and that the exit polls last time were proved wrong because he won. Ten hours later, Mr Bar concedes defeat, but results are not fully counted until a further 12 hours have elapsed. Meanwhile, a natural disaster in a remote region of Country B (timezone -5 hours from Country A) takes place, killing hundreds of people. First reports reach the outside world between the close of polls in Country A and Mrs Foo claiming victory, but the precise time of the disaster is uncertain. Elsewhere, Country X wins Tournament Y in Country C after results of other games (concluding between Mrs Foo claiming and Mr Bar conceding) mean that they cannot be overtaken in the final round of matches the next day, but the tournament itself is not over until after the Country A results are officially concluded. And then, to make a big news weekend even bigger, Dr Terribly Important-Person, the multiple Nobel prize-winner and international movie star, dies, but the announcement is delayed for at least 24 hours for family reasons. Let us assume that we have consensus at ITNC for four blurbs. Tournament Y is ready first and is posted. A work-in-progress article about the disaster is posted next. Then the election results article is sufficiently updated to post. Finally, Dr Important-Person's article is ready and posted. What order do you put them in, without requiring terribly complicated instructions about (e.g.) when an election is deemed to have occurred? And why does it matter, when people are likely to disagree about the correct order anyway and when the order is not important? (post edit-conflict - yet again today, I find myself saying "per Jayron" in response to a George Ho thread.) BencherliteTalk 18:27, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Agree that the granularity aspect is key here; distinguishing by day should be attempting, but by the hour or minute is ripe for nitpicking and misuse. This is why it is good to remember that ITN is a not a news ticker, and we don't have to report things in order, nor should we be driven to do so. --MASEM (t) 20:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I'm becoming a little bit sickened by the forensic analysis applied to the ordering of ITN, especially by the proposer. All of my esteemed colleagues put it better than I would, because right now I'm tired of the tirade of complaints. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:11, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • A hoard of opposers are stronger than concerns about oldest blurb at the bottommost. Discussing the bottommost won't be necessary with quick opposes here. Lesser involved people can come around, so I can't withdraw yet... --George Ho (talk) 23:08, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose ITN is supposed to be a selection of recent events which are covered in Wikipedia to demonstrate the breadth of our coverage, not a news ticker. Personally, I don't even consider it important that they be in date order, although I can see it makes sense to avoid arguments regarding which items should be rotated off next. There's absolutely no need to micromanage the list to the extent of putting the entries in strict time order, nor should we be trying to do so. ‑ iridescent 23:15, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per above. A solution in search of a problem. SpencerT♦C 23:16, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose it seems overly complicated and also appears that there isn't a precedent for problems in this area. MurielMary (talk) 13:19, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Per above and in particular Spencer's witty response! Rhodesisland (talk) 23:13, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per date-granularity and avoiding forensic analysis. This appears to be solving a non-problem. Alsee (talk) 06:18, 27 November 2015 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

[Closed] Administrators to decide on Ongoing ticker

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Shall we trust administrators to decide on what to add in the Ongoing ticker? I don't feel good about this. I tried to have the Paris attacks discussed as "Ongoing", but the nomination was days, attracting people insufficiently, before the Paris attack was added as Ongoing. Not to say that the decision was bad or anything, but the cycle of posting and removing Metrojet Flight crash as "Ongoing" might prove that the issue needs attention. Wikipedia is neither a democracy nor bureaucracy, but I am not convinced that adding events without discussion would help improve Wikipedia, even when rules may be ignored. --George Ho (talk) 00:20, 24 November 2015 (UTC)

If you wish to upbraid me for adding the Paris attacks item to Ongoing, feel free to ping me. I paid attention to the discussion you mention, and concluded consensus was in favour of adding it to Ongoing. If I acted in error, any admin could easily remove it, or a topic could be opened at ITN-C -- and discussion is currently ongoing there as to whether it wants switching for something else, but there isn't IMO consensus yet as to a target. How is this process broken? Espresso Addict (talk) 01:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
If you feel that an item has been added inappropriately, start a discussion to remove it, and if there is a consensus it will be removed. If you feel the need to add an item to ongoing, start a discussion if there is consensus it will be added. I'm at a loss to explain it to you any other way. --Jayron32 01:57, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
I see absolutely no issue whatsoever with what's happened. As Jayron says, if you think something should be pulled or has been added erroneously, make an error report or request it be pulled at ITNC. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:19, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
"Shall we trust administrators to decide on what to add in the Ongoing ticker?" Yes, because the existing instructions at Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions are clear and sufficient for these purposes: An accepted blurb may be transferred to the Ongoing section if small, incremental updates are still appearing in notable news agencies, and if regular constructive editing is continuing on the relevant article(s). That's enough. We don't need to add and only if there's a pre-formed consensus at WP:ITNC, because that's not how Wikipedia ought to work. If someone disagrees with a decision then bring it to ITNC for discussion If this means that there's a delay before a decision to (not) add something to ongoing is overturned, that's not the end of the world. But the alternative is pointless threads like this one on Metrojet Flight 9268. The discussion was premature, pointless and doomed to fail. Premature, because no administrator had yet made a decision that needed challenging; pointless, because the nominator did not advocate a view, just wanted to start a discussion for the sake of having a discussion; and doomed to fail, because the article was not being updated and the news cycle had moved on. This is my longer way of saying "per Jayron." BencherliteTalk 17:47, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Business deals: post them when they're announced or when they're signed?

Ok, so we get a few of these every year, this time we have Pfizer's merger with Allergan creating a company worth over $160 billion. It's big news. Massive news, and all over the web, but it looks like Wikipedia won't be featuring it. The primary reason seems to be that we don't post things that haven't actually happened, i.e. these business announcements are usually broadcast when an agreement has been reached, not when the deal has been concluded. I have no dog in the fight, so I thought it might be useful to gauge the community's opinion on this particular aspect of ITN business stories so we don't continually re-visit the argument. Comments appreciated. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:47, 23 November 2015 (UTC)

Business deals should be ITN (assuming significance, article update and quality are met) when they are announced/confirmed to be happening (clearly not on rumors it might be happening). We know these might still fall through due to, say, FTC oversight, a vote by shareholders, etc. but unless that actually happens, rarely do these deals ever come up again in the news and quietly happen without any major coverage. If the deal is stopped, and it was a rather significant deal, that would likely be all over the news and might be an ITN again. I would consider this the same as election results: winners of elections aren't 100% affirmed always and they don't take power the very next day, and we rarely cover the inauguration of that leader when they do take office. The one aspect that we do wait on, wisely, is when the story involves legal aspects and potentially negative statements towards a person or group. And there, waiting for the most official word that closes that case makes the most sense to avoid WP speculating negatively in the ITN box. --MASEM (t) 20:54, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, but your opening sentence has already created confusion for me: "when they are announced/confirmed to be happening" – these are not the same thing at all. Hence the reason I started this discussion. Please try to be succinct. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:01, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
Take the Pfizer merge. There have been talks [7] that they were looking to merge a month ago straight out of the companies' mouths (not rumor), which arguably could be taken as announcement. Today's announcement is confirmation that they are committed towards doing the merge, and is clearly the point that it is ITN, not when they said they were looking to merge. --MASEM (t) 23:45, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Business sales/merger announcements should be posted when they are announced(assuming they get adequate coverage) as the announcement always gets more coverage than the actual transaction. I've never understood fears that such a transaction could be blocked by authorities or otherwise not happen as a reason for not posting an annoucement; often such instances are newsworthy on their own- but even if not, we don't treat any other such event in a similar way(the winner of the Tour de France could be stripped of their titles, the winner of an election could die before taking office, etc.). 331dot (talk) 22:18, 23 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I just posted my suggestion for a rule of thumb on this on the nomination - "post X when it's in the news" - as I understand it, ITN is for featuring current news stories that have a WP article reflecting the news. It's all about being current. There's no way to predict what might/might not happen with any event i.e. an agreement announced today could be cancelled next week, however that is fine if that's the way things pan out ... yes it's unpredictable and messy but that's the world we live in. The ins and outs of a cancelled agreement would also be in the news and updated in the WP article, and would also be an ITN contender. MurielMary (talk) 09:34, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
Agree with the above. Banedon (talk) 09:37, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • It's worth pointing out that before two large "ITN worthy" corporations announce a merger, they've already met privately to discuss finance, consider regulatory opposition (probably put out feelers with regulators), have agreed internally to the process, and in many cases there is a financial penalty for failure. Consider the failed AT&T + T-Mobile merger, AT&T had to pay a $4bn penalty over that [8]. You don't bake a 4 billion dollar penalty into a transaction unless you expect it to succeed. The announcement (even if it later fails) has immediate effects in markets, both for the affected companies and in the sector, and if it's a retail business, there can be strong consumer backlash. "The corporation has become the dominant institution of our time" and when these entities merge, or fail, there is real impact to real people globally and it gets worldwide media attention. As the legacy company(ies) wind down, there is no big announcement when the old symbol is delisted, or when the non-core business units are spun off, or when the corporate charter no longer lists "doing business as" in their annual filing. Following a merger, some companies may go years still carrying the the brand of the legacy company (I had "Bell South DSL" 5 years after they merged with AT&T). If the deal is big enough to be "big news" then the time to post is the announcement, and honestly, if the deal falls apart, that might be worthy of a posting too. -- (talk) 14:18, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • The announcement, not the completion, is the most newsworthy element. By the time completion takes place, it's old news. BencherliteTalk 17:49, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • Items should be posted when they are actually in the news. The reason is that the purpose of ITN it to highlight Wikipedia content about topics people are reading about elsewhere. If the item is in the news now, if it is to be posted, it should be posted during the time frame when people are seeing information about it outside of Wikipedia as well. --Jayron32 17:53, 24 November 2015 (UTC)
  • I have always been concerned about the "what if the deal doesn't go through" component of this matter and thought that I might bring up that point here. However, I find myself being swayed by the arguments that the moment for posting is ripe when the announcement is made because that's when the deal is ITN and it might very well not be when the merger actually happens. If something happens after to prevent the merger, that can be handled on its own if the news is important enough and the article is updated enough. However, I still think we need to be very selective in which deals we post. Personally I don't think Huge Money should be the lone criteria for a deal's importance or its posting; we should take into account the potential effects of the merger on specific area of influence, the overall business market, and the general population first and then the $ component. Rhodesisland (talk) 23:09, 26 November 2015 (UTC)
    Would you be content if the blurb simply stated the fact, i.e. "Company X announces that it will aggressively subsume Company Y in a $114 trillion deal.", i.e. that we're making it clear that we're posting the announcement, not the actually event? The Rambling Man (talk) 23:07, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I think that would work. It seems like the inverse of a science announcement--they find the dino (or whatever) and then a few months later announce it; in this case they announce the deal and then a few months later the actual event happens. I think this concept will work. However, I'm not sure about the "aggressively subsume" part of your suggestion (I'm sure you were exaggerating, right?) Rhodesisland (talk) 11:27, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Of course. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:41, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
whew.Rhodesisland (talk) 21:10, 2 December 2015 (UTC)

Size of headings of nominations

Currently, ==== Event ==== (level-four) and === Event === (level-three) are used inconsistently. However, the level-four headings are often used because the instructions say so. With both usages intertwined, editing may be affected. Shall we change from level-four to level-three headings in instructions and all other nominations? --George Ho (talk) 00:47, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

  • Why not just make the level threes level fours and leave the instructions alone? I don't see the issue here. 331dot (talk) 00:57, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
The headings of dates are level-two. What about MOS:HEAD? --George Ho (talk) 01:04, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
OK, I get it now. Unless there is some reason that four is used, I don't see why it shouldn't be changed. 331dot (talk) 01:08, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Actually, the incongruous thing is the use of a level-1 heading for the "Suggestions" bar. If we dropped that down to level-2 like all of the other headings, dates would be level 3, and noms would be level 4, and the world would be a happy place. Can someone explain the technical reason for the headings levels? --Jayron32 01:36, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Conversation collapsed
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.
Level-3 headings would carry level-4 headings as subsections, like what they do in articles. You know, a lv.-2 heading carries lv.-3 headings, and a lv.-3 heading carried lv.-4 headings. Id est A section carries subsections. If that is not enough, some people would prefer putting the size of a heading to level three... for convenience and tendency and urge? Did I explain well, Jayron? --George Ho (talk) 01:42, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
You did, entirely unnecessarily. I understand how numbers work. I'm older than 2. I've also been here at Wikipedia for a decade longer than you. But your condescension is noted, and thank you kindly for revealing your true personality and character. If you want to answer that question you asked elsewhere about why people treat you with animosity, you should perhaps examine what you just did right there. If you are capable of stepping back and looking at your actions just now, you'll answer your own question in that regard. Now, let me restate what I said above. The current system goes "Suggestions" = Level 1 Dates = Level 2 Noms = Level 4. The current system has no level 3 headings. Also, level 1 headings are rare at Wikipedia without some cause. Almost all of Wikipedia uses Level 2 as the primary section header, and goes down from there. The entire system gets fixed if we put "Suggestions" down to level 2 and "Dates" down to level 3, leaving noms at level 4. Though there may be some technical reason (perhaps having to do with archiving) that the current system, which goes against normal Wikipedia standards, is in place. As I don't deal with programming the archiving bots, they may require dates to be level 2 headings, and thus force the odd "1-2-4" system we currently have instead of the expected "2-3-4" system that normal Wikipedia standards would require. I was hoping someone could explain the technical reasons why we have the current 1-2-4 system; though I suspect the reason may be "no good reason at all", I don't presume there isn't something I'm missing. --Jayron32 01:54, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping a compliment, but I got a scolding instead. I got better things to do than arguing with you or Rambing Man. George Ho (talk) 02:08, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Compliment you for treating someone like a two-year old and explaining how sequential numbers work, apropos of nothing? Yeah, that's a good way to get people to build up your ego. --Jayron32 02:09, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
The more I get to know the News community, the less I have in common with. If this discussion results in full opposition, then I guess my role in News will be severely reduced to just marking "Ready" and proposing names of recently deceased and additions and removals of ongoing events. The blurbs are no longer my thing other than spelling out figures and balancing the Main Page and spelling corrections. I wanted to be friends with this community, but I guess I'm too good for this. George Ho (talk) 02:21, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
No one has opposed you. I certainly haven't. You noted a problem. I suggested a possible solution. Out of the blue, and with no provocation, you treated me like a child and tried to explain how fucking headers work. AFTER I AGREED WITH YOU AND SUGGESTED A SOLUTION. If that's how you treat people who agree with you 100%, I shudder to think what your response will be to the person who actually disagrees with you. --Jayron32 02:25, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to treat you like a child. You are experienced, thank you. I assumed wrong when I don't know someone who shares common sense. Let's forget that this belittling conversation ever happened, okay? George Ho (talk) 02:34, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Agreed. It was not becoming of either of us. I apologize as well. I'll hat this, and we can allow the rest of the discussion to develop and see how to fix the problem you noted. --Jayron32 02:43, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Just to summarize the problem noted by George Ho above: there appears to be an inconsistency in practice with the level of header for nominations; level-3 and level-4 headers seem to be used interchangeably, and it probably needs a fix. The instructions appear to ask for a level 4 header, but that would leave us jumping directly from level-2 to level-4 with no inbetween; and that confuses people, leading to the mismatched headers we have now. It appears that two solutions have been proposed; I'm not favoring either (even the one I proposed) but we probably need to wait for additional input. The first solution proposed, by George, is to change the instructions to make noms a level-3 header, so we don't have the confusing instructions. The second solution, by myself, is to move the "suggestions" section to a level 2 header, the dates to level-3 headers, and keep the noms at level-4. Either seems fine to me. Other solutions, or support for either of these plans, are invited. --Jayron32 02:43, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
  • Another solution looking for a problem. Why not focus on the quality of nominations and their associated articles rather than this meaningless and endless quest to find miniature faults with the system. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:32, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
This crops up from time to time. I thought it had something to do with the bot archiving (are the levels different on the archive pages?) but I don't think anyone fully explained how or why. I agree it would be nice to be consistent, but be careful to avoid breaking something. Modest Genius talk 13:15, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Please post this

I've nominated this on your behalf, the rest is up to ITN. Banedon (talk) 03:08, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

What number is big enough for ITN for underrepresented topics?

The 2015 editions of Grey Cup and Melbourne Cup have viewerships with ~12 mil and <3 mil viewerships respectively have been posted at ITN, largely in part because they are at ITNR. These events are of seemingly strictly national interest only, happen regularly and the viewership numbers are predictable.

I don't care to start a discussion on their merits being there, but I am wondering how should/does this translate to the numbers of people needing to be involved in events not featured at ITNR to make such entries are worthy enough for ITN. I am thinking of Adele's album which got 3+ mil sales in US alone (probably close to 4 mil worldwide), a number not heard in more than a decade, but ITN voters seem to be happy to it shoot down even though music and even non-TV media are some obviously underrepresented topics at ITN. I think there have been other similar entries that suffered a similar fate as a result of not being at ITNR, so I am wondering if there could/should be a guideline for when discussing non-ITNR items. Nergaal (talk) 22:00, 30 November 2015 (UTC)

There are only three criteria for ITN: 1) did it recently happen 2) Is the targeted article of sufficient quality and appropriately updated and 3) does it have consensus to post. I can find no other written rules previously negotiated or recorded anywhere on the ITN instruction pages. If you would like to add additional requirements on what can shed cannot be posted, in contravention of the three above principles, please start an RFC and see where consensus lies. --Jayron32 22:13, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Questions regarding consensus should not be brought up on the ITN talk page; as Jayron32 points out, it should be an RFC.--WaltCip (talk) 22:30, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
Sorry your nomination of Adele's latest oeuvre failed to chart with ITNC. But that's probably because it's not going to be remembered ever again until the record gets broken. It's trivia. The Rambling Man (talk) 22:51, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
How is it in any ways different form the current winner of the Grey Cup or Melbourne Cup? Aren't these essentially trivia also? Who is going to remember these winners in 10 years? At least the sales record (of a dying industry) was achieved after 15 years, while the winners of these cups gets refreshed each year. In athletics we post long-standing records, so why aren't we doing the same with media-related industries? Nergaal (talk) 08:32, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
We have ITNR for a reason. Why would record sales (in the US alone) be of any relevance to the main page of a global English-speaking encyclopedia? We have DYK for trivia like that. Seminal sports events like the Grey Cup or the Melbourne Cup are relevant to significant portions of the English-speaking world and will be forever. Adele's latest album is, well, meh. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:52, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Posting fastest music records would essentially do what you hate and trivialize Wikipedia. I guess you are for LeBron James being fastest to X points? Why are you so determined to put Adele on ITN?Correctron (talk) 22:53, 30 November 2015 (UTC)
I am not, I am simply surprised of the bashing it received and feels to me like there are inconsistencies between that is worthwhile when it comes to ITNR vs non-ITNR items. If something is ITNR you aren't even allowed to mention a disagreement without getting nasty replies, while if you mention non-ITNR items (or at least items outside politics/sports/disasters) it feels like you have to write a whole essay at ITNC to have voters agree with it. Nergaal (talk) 08:26, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
I think there're a lot of questions that an RfC could be useful for. There are far fewer people commenting on this page compared to ITN/C, suggesting the possibility of a wider consensus. Questions could include:
  1. Whether an article needs to be regularly updated to be kept as "ongoing" or not;
  2. Whether the rather regular complaints of systematic bias on ITN is a problem or not, and if it is, what could be done about it;
  3. Whether the rather regular complaints of too much of a particular kind of news is a problem or not, and if it is, what could be done about it;
  4. Whether ITN's environment is hostile, and if so, what could be done about it;
  5. What qualifies as consensus and what does not (viz. should anything with >66% support be posted?) and how long to let a nomination run for;
  6. Whether there should be defined standards on what can or cannot be supported / opposed (similar to section D of the ongoing RfC on 2015 administrator election reform), and if so, what they should be.
Speaking of the RfC on 2015 administrator election reform, I personally think ITN could use something similar, given the wide-ranging criticism I've seen of the process. Admittedly though, that is not something easily organized. Banedon (talk) 07:00, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
1 is covered at Wikipedia:In the news/Administrator instructions, "An accepted blurb may be transferred to the Ongoing section if small, incremental updates are still appearing in notable news agencies, and if regular constructive editing is continuing on the relevant article(s)." Consensus generally determines the amount of editing required for "regular constructive editing".
2 is a noted problem, though the solution, which is for people to improve and nominate articles from underrepresented areas, usually is harder and requires more work than simply complaining that there is a bias.
3 is also a noted problem, for the solution see #2
4 is a problem, the solution is for people to focus on building up the work of others, and not attacking others because their interests lie in areas they themselves don't have experience or interest in themselves
5 is the same as consensus across all of Wikipedia: Admins assess the quality and number of votes, possibly discounting votes which do not have substantive and valid rationales, and assess overall consensus. ITN works exactly like every other part of Wikipedia in this regard. If you wish to change the consensus model at Wikipedia, start a discussion somewhere like WP:CONSENSUS talk page. Good luck with that.
6 is partially covered by WP:CONSENSUS and partially covered by the ITN rules, as noted several places at ITN, such as the main ITNC header, which states several kinds of votes that are often discounted.
I hope that clarifies some of your questions. There are some outstanding issues, but many of them are already dealt with in existing documentation. --Jayron32 12:56, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Those aren't questions — they are things I think require a definite statement of consensus on. Right now we only have the informal opinions of a few people on this talk page, who collectively aren't even the majority of people contributing on ITN/C. It's evident (to me at least) that there's a fair amount of disapproval of current ITN practice. Right below this section for example is another person thinking that ITN needs reform. You say #3 is a problem, but four months ago on this page, three different editors proclaimed that it is not a problem. If the administrator instructions for #1 are to be taken literally, then George Ho's nominating "remove X / insert Y for ongoing?" on ITN/C is pointless, because the guidelines call for administrators to make the decisions on what goes into "ongoing", not get community consensus. In spite of #4 ITN has seen fights over UFC193, the Umpqua Community College shooting, etc, over the past few months. And in spite of #5, this nomination didn't get posted even though it had all supports with no oppose votes. If this were an article talk page, I'd conclude that there are enough indications of a lack of consensus that I'd attempt to get a clearer picture of what the community thinks.
Put another way: how can you be certain community consensus is that #3 is a noted problem with the solution being to improve and nominate articles from underrepresented areas? How do you know the community rejects, e.g., the idea that #3 is not a problem and therefore nothing should be done about it, or that ITN should be partitioned so that not more than (e.g.) two sports blurbs are listed at any particular time? If you think the consensus is that the status quo is flawed but still the best option for ITN, what is the justification for that? Banedon (talk) 01:46, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
There are two solutions to problems of bias/relative overrepresentation of certain topics 1) improve more articles on underrepresented topics or 2) deliberately tear down, worsen, or denigrate topics which are overrepresented. No other course of action will change the relative number of articles from various topics. I hope you recognize that only one of these actions is NOT obviously reprehensible. The rest of your post greatly mistakes how consensus building discussions happen. If we could set a set of rules which would guarantee there would never be disagreements, we would never need discussions, because the rules would have already predestined that conflict would never happen, and so a person following the rules as written would never have to ask anyone's opinion. If we presume that people are going to need to discuss to come to a consensus decision, we're going to come to the conclusion that sometimes, people aren't going to reach nice, unanimous agreements. Sometimes, they're going to disagree with each other. Also, if we presume that the only way we get to the right outcome is consensus building discussions; that means that my preferred outcome is not the default correct outcome. That has to be an assumption: sometimes I don't get my way. That doesn't mean everyone else screwed up. It just means I didn't end up on the side of consensus. Too many times, people presume that their opinion is the default correct opinion, and that all other opinions are wrong. That's not how opinion works. The third issue is your misunderstanding of randomness and coincidence. Sometimes, two important sporting events occur on the same day. Sometimes, we go a few weeks without a major sporting event. Sometimes we get two major elections in quick succession. Sometimes we go a few weeks without one. Sometimes we get two major disasters in the same week. Sometimes we go a long time without them. ITN is not screwed up because occasionally two sporting events happen near each other. It is neither possible, nor desirable, to engineer an ITN feed which assures that there is never a coincidence of similar events. Because life doesn't work that way. --Jayron32 02:43, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
We may be talking past one another. I'll split your post into two parts and address them one at a time. The first about bias / relative overrepresentation: it's certainly possible to think of more ways to solve that problem (if it is indeed a problem, which a substantial number of contributors probably do not think it is). For example, elections are listed as ITN/R. If three countries host elections on the same day however, a person who feels there is too much political news might oppose featuring the elections of the country with the smallest population (or the one that is least interesting, smallest geopolitical impact, etc — his or her subjective criteria). This is not an opinion that will sit well with everybody, for certain. Some people will accuse Wikipedia of bias against small countries, some might say elections should always be featured because they have far more lasting impact for the country than whoever won the Davis Cup, yada yada blah blah. But acknowledging that it is acceptable to oppose a nomination because of overrepresentation makes it possible to oppose the nomination. Right now that is not possible and will just lead to people saying "this is ITN/R, if you don't like it propose it for deletion on that page". But the person isn't opposing elections as ITN/R, just opposing featuring three elections at the same time. I'll pose the question again for this specific example: suppose five countries host elections at the same time, and all five articles are updated satisfactorily. Under current ITN procedures, all five will (must) be featured, leaving no room for other news. How can you be certain that the community feels this is preferable to (say) featuring only two election results so there is space for other blurbs?
The other part about your post is about consensus. I agree with what you wrote about consensus, in general. I've wound up on the wrong end of consensus many times already, and generally speaking I accept that as inevitable. The problem is that in this case I'm seeing no evidence of consensus. I suspect that the honest answer to the question posed in the above paragraph is, "I don't know. I think the community prefers XYZ, but I have no hard evidence". If I'm correct about that answer, then I think there are grounds to seek that hard evidence. ITN regularly sees people popping up, criticize some part of process, and then leaving in a huff. It's easy to say "good riddance, don't let the door hit you on the way out", but I think this is evidence that a substantial fraction of the community does not like the status quo. If you do actually have evidence that the status quo is the community's preferred option, please share it. Banedon (talk) 04:07, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I wasn't aware we were talking past one another. I thought we were talking with one another. I'm not sure there's a "substantial fraction of the community" that does not like the status quo. I think there's a substantial fraction of people who say something that don't like the status quo, but "people who take the time to say something" is not equal to "the community", especially where there is a well documented and natural tendency among humanity to only say something if you yourself want change; people who agree with the status quo don't just pop in from time to time to announce their approval. They just, you know, let it happen assuming that the status quo doesn't need their commentary to keep on happening. It's only those people who don't like the status quo who speak up. The only people who say something are people who have a problem, but that doesn't mean that just because you hear more of those voices that necessarily means those voices are significant in number, just significant in volume. They could be statistically insignificant, but they're the only voices anyone ever hears. --Jayron32 04:24, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
They certainly could be statistically insignificant, but again, how can you be sure? Banedon (talk) 04:29, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
I'm not. The difference is, I always start with the null hypothesis, because I don't assume that any proposition is true without evidence one way or another. You seem to be proposing that there's a problem. I'm not saying there is, I'm not saying there isn't. I'm just saying we shouldn't say anything based on the voices of those with axes to grind. Those people are certainly, demonstratedly, and measurably insignificant compared to the people who said nothing. --Jayron32 04:34, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
That's why I said we're talking past one another — we're not actually talking about the same thing. I do not outright propose that there is a problem: I propose instead that there are sufficient reasons to think there may be a problem. Hence I want to test if there is a problem. It's entirely possible that such a test will show that there is no problem, in which case we do nothing. But I think that without the test we do not have sufficient reason to say that there is no problem. Science analogy: perihelion precession of Mercury. When the first measurements were performed there appeared to be an anomalous shift. It could be measurement error, or it could indicate something deeper. I propose to run further checks. The alternative is to assume Newtonian mechanics is correct, dismiss the measurements as flawed in some way, and do nothing. In the context of this discussion that translates to "assume the majority is in favour of the status quo, they just do not say so". Banedon (talk) 05:06, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
Regarding what I claimed are "known problems", there have been studies already done. That's why we know of problems. Examples can be found at articles titled things like Racial bias on Wikipedia and Gender bias on Wikipedia and there's a WikiProject dedicated to tackling these issues, quite outside of ITN, Wikipedia:WikiProject Countering systemic bias. So when I said above that things are a known problem, it's not because I'm guessing or expressing my opinion based on my own (very limited) observations. The WikiMedia Foundation has done studies; independent groups have done studies, and these are actually known problems based on the published work of others. We don't need more data; we have it. Well, more data may be useful (it usually is), but it isn't like we're working blind here. --Jayron32 15:49, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
That's a bit tangential to what I'm saying. It is known that Wikipedia has systematic bias, but we're talking about ITN. The most common kind of bias seen here is country-specific, viz [9] and the just-posted 2015 San Bernardino shooting nomination. The question then becomes whether it's acceptable to oppose a nomination because one feels it is country-specific, but often when someone does that on ITN/C, they've been shouted down and referred to the 'please do not complain about an event only relating to a single country, or failing to relate to one' guideline. Unless you can confidently say that the community thinks or does not think that country-specific news is a problem, I think we need more data. This is only one example as well. There are other issues to resolve like whether a single type of news dominating ITN is a problem (you said it is earlier, Dweller below just said it isn't), whether an ongoing event like the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference should be posted to ongoing or only when news comes out of that event, etc. Take the recent Japanese whaling nomination. When it was first nominated, some people said wait till the ships leave port. When the ships left port, MurielMary nominated the item again. This is actually quite rare. Instead for items like the Northern White Rhino nomination, some people said wait till it actually goes extinct. But what if it goes extinct and there's no significant news coverage then? Many of the "wait" positions seem functionally equivalent to "oppose" for this reason. Is that a problem? The San Bernardino shooting nomination was posted in three (!) hours, during which half the world was asleep and so unable to comment. Is that a problem? These are all things an RfC could solve. Banedon (talk) 01:14, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
Well, these are all things a half dozen or more RFCs could solve. One RFC would be a confused CF of a mess, and would get nowhere. I think that's part of the problem. Your noted issues are all unfocused and all over the map. Lets tackle one issue at a time. RFCs work when they are narrowly focused to a single issue, and carefully define a proposed solution. They go fantastically badly when you try to fix all the problems at one go. Just in one post, you just now 1) country-specific news 2) even distribution of genre 3) clarifying the purpose of "Ongoing...", 4) the problem with "wait..." votes 5) timing between nominations and posts. We can't possibly discuss all of these problems simultaneously and come to any meaningful fix for any of them. Pick one. Ask a single question about it. See where consensus lies. This sort of shotgun approach to dealing with everything at once is why this is going badly for you. --Jayron32 02:50, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
I don't agree. The issues are intertwined and can be solved in one RfC as opposed to many (which also takes much more time). The same group of people commenting on one proposal are also most likely to be interested in another proposal. I propose to model the RfC with many questions similar to the ongoing RfC on RfA reform, will take some time to draft it though. Banedon (talk) 11:01, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
You're wrong. At least two of those relate to administrators ability to gauge consensus. That's Wikipedia-wide, we don't need a localised variation at ITN for that. Poor debate style is WIkipedia-wide, we don't need a localised variation at ITN for that. Systemic bias is Wikipedia-wide, we don't need a localised variation at ITN for that. The Rambling Man (talk) 11:34, 3 December 2015 (UTC)
The question is badly posed: there is no specific number. Proposals are decided by consensus and judged on their own merits, not bean counting of the number of people involved/watching/interested. Modest Genius talk 12:23, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Jayron's answers are spot on. Most of the original questions are handled by Wikipedia's guidelines and policies. Is there actually anything here that is worth an RFC given that? Having said that, I'd love to see how much of the community's time would be destroyed by an RFC about ITN, which I predict, right now, would change absolutely nothing because all ITN does is reflect community consensus, admin assessments of consensus and the usual subjective arguments you see at any part of Wikipedia. The Rambling Man (talk) 21:52, 1 December 2015 (UTC)
Please let's not have a massively disruptive RfC on any of this - it would just open a can of worms, generate more heat than light, and distract everyone from actually working on nominations and updating articles. More importantly, there doesn't actually seem to be a problem that it would aim to resolve. Wow lots of clichés in my comment here. Modest Genius talk 16:01, 2 December 2015 (UTC)
If the discussion two sections below are anything to go by, we don't need a massively disruptive RfC to generate more heat than light. With that said, I don't believe problems should be avoided because they are hard to solve. Better to get it out of the way than leave it festering just underneath the surface. Banedon (talk) 11:01, 3 December 2015 (UTC)

Arbitrary section break

Realistically speaking I don't have time to compose the big, all-inclusive RfC I originally envisaged. Therefore if I have to initiate and move the RfC, it'll have to be a smaller version, and so I propose to focus on what I think is the most contentious and most often criticized point: #3 in the original six I listed. I propose this wording:

ITN is occasionally dominated by news of a single type, which is a consequence of several newsworthy items of that type happening at the same time. Should ITN have in-built controls against this happening?

This would result in a yes / no question. A "No" consensus would maintain the status quo. "Yes" would leave the preferred solution unclear but it would be a bridge we can cross when we get there. Need help with 1) whether a different issue should be discussed instead; 2) checking this RfC wording for neutrality; 3) opinions on whether explicit examples of dominance from ITN's history should be given; 4) closing the RfC below, so there are not two different RfCs on the same page. I personally think the issue raised by George Ho is a very minor one that doesn't need to be advertised as a RfC, but it's not mine to close it. Banedon (talk) 03:27, 8 December 2015 (UTC)

  • I would vote "No" to any such RFC, because of apophenia: "Apophenia is the human tendency to perceive meaningful patterns within random data." Correcting for random variation is not the role of Wikipedia. The alternative is to force exactly one story of each of some arbitrary set of categories, which misrepresents both how real events happen (mostly randomly) and also the purpose of ITN, which is merely to highlight quality Wikipedia articles on current events. Sometimes, two major elections happen on the same day. It is really not a problem to link to both in ITN if we have quality articles on both. We can't fix the disorganized nature of major news events by merely forcing some artificial order on ITN. --Jayron32 03:50, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
  • No. ITN is part of Wikipedia, it doesn't need special rules. Community consensus is all that's important. The Rambling Man (talk) 07:11, 8 December 2015 (UTC)
Is it just me or are you two voting before the RfC is actually posted? Banedon (talk) 01:50, 10 December 2015 (UTC)
No, we're just trying to save you and the community a lot of wasted time. The Rambling Man (talk) 08:37, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
You could do that by closing the RfC two sections below this. Banedon (talk) 08:47, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Since no-one has commented on that for over a week, it's hardly wasting any time. The Rambling Man (talk) 09:09, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Whereabouts of death criteria

There used to be WP:ITN/DC that pointed to this. Was this deprecated?—Bagumba (talk) 09:52, 11 December 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia:In the news/Death criteria was depricated in 2009. --Jayron32 11:43, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Except the link I provided refers to content that was on Wikipedia:In the news itself until it was removed Dec 9.—Bagumba (talk) 11:59, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
Ah. It was part of some reorganization. I've updated the redirect to the new section header. --Jayron32 14:51, 11 December 2015 (UTC)
OK. But the content at WP:ITN used to have guidance on who should be included in RD e.g. important figure in their field. The new section that replaced it at Wikipedia:In_the_news#Recent_deaths_section now only explains when RD is appropriate over a blurb, with nothing on who should be posted. Is that because what was previously on WP:ITN was never really followed, or is its omission an oversight?—Bagumba (talk) 00:39, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Is WP:CONSENSUS insufficient? --Jayron32 03:41, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
It goes without saying that everything is based on consensus. However, guidance is good for people that are intereted in which nominations stand a better chance to be promoted. An analogy would be if we did not have WP:N for articles, it'd be a free-for-all dealing with all sorts of pages being created, even though it operates on consensus. Is it your belief that content at WP:ITN/DC before did not have consensus? You're more active than I am at ITN, so I'll defer to your opinion on that point.—Bagumba (talk) 04:10, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
If you sense a problem, you're invited to fix it. After all, the only time anything gets fixed at Wikipedia is when people who find problems fix them. Since you have found the problem, you're the one responsible to fix it, so if you don't fix it, you have no one to blame except yourself that it remains broken. --Jayron32 04:16, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
Added a fix, even though I am not required to :-)—Bagumba (talk) 05:15, 12 December 2015 (UTC)
In that case, neither am I, or anyone else. Good addition too. Thanks for fixing it. --Jayron32 22:06, 12 December 2015 (UTC)