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Welcome to the reliable sources noticeboard. This page is for posting questions regarding whether particular sources are reliable in context.
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391

Association of Religion Data Archives and World Religion Database

Æo has removed ARDA religious estimations from various wiki pages because he says it uses some World Religion Database data which he claims is affiliated to the World Christian Database which he claims is unreliable. First of all, ARDA is completely separate from both of them. Below is ARDAs impressive resume from their about page https://www.thearda.com/about/about-the-arda

Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) strives to democratize access to the best data on religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997 and going online in 1998, the initial archive was targeted at researchers interested in American religion. The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998, now including American and international collections submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA is generously supported by the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, Chapman University, Pennsylvania State University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.

ARDA Advisory Board: Renata Curty (UC Santa Barbara), Joel Herndon (Duke University), Nathaniel Porter (Virginia Tech), Ruth Tillman (Pennsylvania State University), Andrew Tyner (Center for Open Science)

ARDA Affiliates: US Religion Census, Baylor Univeristy, World Religion Database at Boston University, which is part of Brill publishing: https://www.worldreligiondatabase.org/

Here is The Harvard Library calling World Religion Database "a good source of statistics" https://guides.library.harvard.edu/religion and here's The Stanford Library https://guides.library.stanford.edu/religion saying of Arda "Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA allows you to interactively explore the highest quality data on American and international religion using online features for generating national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other reports." University of Oxford Library also recommends both of them https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections-and-resources/data/finding-data/themes/religion.

Below are multiple book sources that call ARDA and the World Religion Database "Reliable", including the Oxford handbook and Cambridge University: 12, 3, 4, 5 AEO does not have ANY reputable source that calls it unreliable it is completely his personal opinion from his own original research. He thinks he knows better than Harvard and Oxford. Foorgood (talk) 23:44, 28 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Since 2022, ARDA has completely reviewed its datasets and has aligned them with those of the WRD/WCD. As I have thoroughly demonstrated here, the WRD and the WCD are the same, they are the continuation of the World Christian Encyclopedia, and are ultimately produced by the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. They are therefore biased and unreliable (WP:PARTISAN, WP:QUESTIONABLE, WP:SPONSORED). In any case, they should never replace data from national censuses and surveys conducted by statistical organisations. In the linked discussion, I cited extensive excerpts from WP:RS which have criticised the WRD/WCD. I have also thoroughly commented the links provided by Foorgood in support of his opinion and even provided an excerpt from one of them which demonstrates my view.
  • Other users who have recently been involved in discussions about these topics can intervene: Erp, Nillurcheier, Lipwe.--Æo (talk) 23:55, 28 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • The World Religion Database and World Christian Database are not officially affiliated but in any case both are considered Reliable by endless scholars including the 5 I included above such as Oxford and Cambridge.Foorgood (talk) 00:02, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • Foorgood, "endless scholars" isn't going to cut it, and "Oxford and Cambridge" aren't scholars. It's important to be precise here. One of the librarians listed on one of the pages you linked confirmed to me what academics already know: a note on a library guide on a university library's website should NOT be taken as any kind of official endorsement for the reliability of that database. Drmies (talk) 01:13, 1 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        I have 5 books from scholars in the original post and then I added some of the many institutional examples: Harvards Library calls it "a good source of statistics for religions" right here https://guides.library.harvard.edu/religion and Stanfords Library calls ARDA "Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA allows you to interactively explore the highest quality data on American and international religion using online features for generating national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other reports" here https://guides.library.stanford.edu/religion but I'm done with this conversation. Have your way and make the source deprecated so that all the scholars and universities can continue to tell their students they shouldnt use Gpedia. New editors here will now see that sources called good by Harvard are considered deprecated by Wiki. Foorgood (talk) 01:58, 1 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In one of the sources provided by Foorgood (F. Lionel Young, III, World Christianity and the Unfinished Task: A Very Short Introduction, Wipf and Stock, 2020), which is itself a book dedicated to a particular Protestant missionary project and view, you can read the following lines: ...Barrett's research has continued under the auspices of an organization established in 2001 named the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, now situated on the campus of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The center's co-director, Todd Johnson, began working with Barrett in 1989, and collaborates with his colleague on several projects, including the 2001 edition of the WEC. Building on Barrett's groundbreaking work, the center launched the World Christian Database and the World Religion Database....

As a general example and point of reference, compare ARDA projections about Australia to the Australian 2021 Census (ARDA overestimates Christianity by 14%); ARDA projections about Canada to the Canadian 2021 Census (ARDA overestimates Christianity by 10%). They are completely wrong, for every single country.

A further critical remark is that ARDA data are speculative projections, not actual surveys, and therefore violate WP:CRYSTAL. There have already been discussions about these matters in the past (e.g.), and some time ago Nillurcheier and I discussed about the possibility of making these sources WP:DEPRECATED (here).--Æo (talk) 00:15, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Authoritative critical assessments

Religion studies scholars & statisticians

For the sake of information completeness, I re-copy hereunder the excerpts I originally reported on my (Æo's) talk page in the discussion with Foorgood.

The following academic papers express criticism about the WRD/WCD, regarding their common origin in the WCE as a missionary tool, their systematic overestimate of Christianity while underestimating other forms of religion, and their favouring certain Christian denominations (Protestant ones) over others:

  • Liedhegener A.; Odermatt A. (2013). "Religious Affiliation in Europe - an Empirical Approach. The "Swiss Metadatabase of Religious Affiliation in Europe (SMRE)". Zentrum für Religion, Wirtschaft und Politik (ZRWP), Universität Luzern. doi:10.13140/RG.2.2.33430.55364. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  • p. 9: "...the World Christian Database (WCD) or the World Religion Database (WRD) which is a direct offspring of the WCD. ... In itself the latter is not an unproblematic source, because its data, gathered originally from the World Christian Encyclopedia, result mostly from country reports prepared by American missionaries. Therefore, a systematic bias of its data in favor of Christianity is a major, although controversial point of criticism".
  • p. 679: ... The main criticisms scholars have directed at the WCD concern the estimation and categorization of certain religious populations. There are questions about whether religious composition within countries is skewed by the overcounting of certain groups or variance in quality of information obtained on different religious groups. There is also concern about possible bias because the WCE was originally developed as a Christian missionary tool. Some of the country descriptions in the WCE have been characterized as having an anti-Catholic and pro-Protestant orientation (McClymond 2002:881), and Martin describes the WCE as a work "dedicated to the conversion of mankind" (1990:293). Criticisms have also been raised about projections for different religious groups and demographic trends, as the WCD provides empirical data for the population of religious groups well into the future. Doubts have been raised about the WCD's estimation and categorization of new religious groups. Steenbrink (1998) criticizes the 1982 WCE data for Indonesia, which suggest the population is only 43.2 percent Muslim and 36.4 percent "new religionist." Steenbrink maintains that those classified as "new religionists" should actually be classified as Muslim, even if stricter Islamic groups might disagree. Lewis (2004) observes that the Soka Gakkai, Rissho Kosei Kai, and Nichiren Shoshu in the Japanese Buddhist tradition are classified as new religions, whereas Pentecostals (a much more recent movement) are classified as Christian rather than a new religion. The size of Christian populations is also debated. Jenkins (2002) notes a large gap between the reported size of India's Christian population in the government census and in the WCE/WCD. While he admits that census figures omit many Scheduled Caste adherents who can lose government benefits by declaring Christian identity, he suspects the WCD overcounts Christians in India. The WCE has also been criticized for including "inadequate and confusing" categories of Christian religious groups, in particular, "Great Commission Christians," "Latent Christians," "Non-baptized believers in Christ," and "Crypto-Christians" (Anderson 2002:129). Some worry that it is difficult to distinguish Christians who keep their faith secret from Christians who practice an indigenized form of Christianity that incorporates elements of non-Christian religions. McClymond writes that estimates for the "non-baptized believers in Christ" or "non-Christian believers in Christ" in India who are Buddhist and Muslim "seem to be largely anecdotal" (2002:886). Estimates of adherents in the United States have also been challenged. Noll has questioned the designation and size of certain Christian categories, for which the WCD and WCE provide the most detail. Although he finds estimates for most Christian denominations agree with other sources, he notes that "Great Commission Christians"—a category used to describe those actively involved in Christian expansion—are estimated in the United States and Europe to be a much larger group than the number of Christians who weekly attend church (2002:451). Another cause for concern is the number of "independents," a muddled category including African-American, "community," and "Bible" churches. Changes in the data set also raise issues about categories: Anderson notes that groups previously labeled as Protestant in the first edition of the WCE in 1982 (Conservative Baptist Association of America, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, and the Presbyterian Church in America) were relabeled Independent in the second edition published in 2001 (Anderson 2002). Some have argued that projections of religious composition for years such as 2025 and 2050 should not be included with the empirical data, as they are merely conjecture (McClymond 2002). Irvin (2005) argues against making predictions about the future of worldwide religion based on recent statistics because Christian growth in Asia and Africa will not necessarily continue along the trajectory it has in past decades. ....
  • p. 680: ... To address the criticisms mentioned above, we compare the religious composition estimates in the WCD to four other cross-national data sets on religious composition (two survey-based data sets and two government-sponsored data sets): the World Values Survey (WVS), the Pew Global Attitudes Project (Pew), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the U.S. State Department (State Department). In our analysis, we find support for some of the criticisms made by reviewers ... the WCD does have higher estimates of percent Christian within countries. Another important difference between the WCD and other cross-national data sets is that the WCD includes data on 18 different religious groups for each country while other data sets only estimate the size of major religions. In evaluating some of the specific critiques discussed above, we find that WCD estimates of American Christian groups are generally higher than those based on surveys and denominational statistics. ... The majority of data came from fieldwork, unpublished reports, and private communications from contributors who are a mix of clergy, academics, and others; the Christian origins of the encyclopedia explain in part its detailed information on Christian groups. ....
  • p. 684: ... Figure 1 shows that the WCD tends to overestimate percent Christian relative to the other data sets. Scatterplots show that the majority of the points lie above the y x line, indicating the WCD estimate for percent Christian within countries is generally higher than the other estimates. Although the bias is slight, it is consistent, and consequently, the WCD estimates a higher ratio of Christians in the world. This suggests that while the percentage Christian estimates are closely related among the data sets, the tendency is for them to be slightly higher in the WCD. ... On the other hand, the WCD likely underestimates percent Muslim in former Communist countries and countries with popular syncretistic and traditional religions..
  • p. 692: ... We find some evidence for the three main criticisms directed at the WCD regarding estimation, ambiguous religious categories, and bias. The WCD consistently gives a higher estimate for percent Christian in comparison to other cross-national data sets. ... We also found evidence of overestimation when we compared WCD data on American denominational adherence to American survey data such as ARIS, due in part to inclusion of children, and perhaps also to uncritical acceptance of estimates from religious institutions. We agree with reviewers that some of the WCD's religious categories are impossible to measure accurately, such as "Great Commission Christians," "latent Christians," and "Crypto-Christians." ....
  • (Added by Ramos1990). However, context matters. Here is their overall conclusion: ...In sum, we find that the WCD religious composition data are highly correlated with other sources that offer cross-national religious composition estimates. For cross-national studies, the WCD may be more useful than other sources of data because of the inclusion of the largest number of countries, different time periods, and information on all, even small, religious groups.

Missionologists

Added by Erp and Ramos1990:

  • Woodberry, Robert D. (2010). "World Religion Database: Impressive - but Improvable". International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 34 (1): 21–22. ISSN 0272-6122.
    • Quote: ... the editors seem to have constructed their estimates of religious distribution primarily from surveys of denominations and missionaries, not from censuses or representative surveys of individuals ....
    • However, context matters: Despite these criticisms, we can appreciate the editors’ achievement in applying a relatively consistent methodology across the world. Furthermore, the WRD estimates are highly correlated with other cross-national estimates of religious distribution, a conclusion supported by an article by Becky Hsu and others. and also ...Still, despite my criticisms, I will eagerly use these data in my research. I do not know of any better data available on such a broad scale and am amazed at the editors’ ability to provide even tentative estimates of religious distribution by province and people group.
  • Marsh, Christopher; Zhong, Zhifeng (2010). "Chinese Views on Church and State". Journal of Church and State. 52 (1): 34–49. ISSN 0021-969X. JSTOR 23922246.
    • Quote: overestimate of Christianity in China, which adds a lot to the total number and percentage of world Christians: ... At the extreme high end, the World Religion Database puts the percentage of Christians in China at 7.76 percent, or a just above 100 million, but this number is most certainly an overestimation ....

Added by Æo:

Another edition of WRD/WCD data has been the Atlas of Global Christianity (produced by the same Gordon-Conwell team). I have found negative critical assessments even for this edition, this time coming from an "insider" (Christian missionary) source, even though through an academic publisher, written by Anne-Marie Kool of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Osijek, Croatia:

  • Kool, Anne-Marie (2016). "Revisiting Mission in, to and from Europe through Contemporary Image Formation" (PDF). In Charles E. Van Engen (ed.). The State of Missiology Today: Global Innovations in Christian Witness. Downers Grove: IVP Academic. pp. 231–49.
    • p. 1: ... [the resource] seeks to give “as nuanced a picture as possible” of the history of Christianity over the last 100 years showing an “unmistakable” general pattern, that Christianity experiences a “severe recession” on the European continent that once was its primary base, while it has undergone “unprecedented growth and expansion” in the other parts of the world. ....
    • p. 2: ... widespread caution is raised with regard to the accuracy of the figures and not to engage in statistical analysis with the data, “without robustness checking… they contain random error and probably some systematic error” ....
    • p. 9, containing a self-criticism from Kool for having herself made uncritical use of the data: ... The World Christian Database and the World Religion Database serve as sources for the data of the Atlas. With regard to the methodology used, Woodberry is right in emphasizing that “more transparency is needed”. It might well be that the great quantity of details easily silenced possible critical voices. It is peculiar that hardly any serious critical interaction and discussion of the underlying methodology of the Atlas has taken place, neither of its two data providing predecessors. The data are simply taken for granted, as I have taken them for as authoritative in my teaching and research during the last two decades. ....
    • p. 12, about systematic overestimation of Christianity in Europe, with allusions that there might be financial reason behind such overestimations: ... The statistical image of Europe that is now communicated only re-enforces the image of Europe as a Christian continent, by not giving insight in the internal diversification and erosion. So why is only this broad definition used? Is it for fear of losing power? Or for maintaining the image of the numerically strong “World C” that provides the human and financial resources to “finish the task”? Are matters of Christian finance playing a role? Out of a sense of empire building? Or of a sense of hidden resistance to accept that Europe also is now also a mission field? Is it out of fear of becoming a minority? Fear for ending up statistically weaker than the Muslims? Or an attempt to cling to the influence of the “Western” over the “non-Western” world, based on an image of Europe as still a massive Christian continent? ....
    • p. 13; it is a missionary tool designed for a specific strategy of aggression towards what in American missionary Christianity has been conceptualised as the "10/40 window": ... Eric Friede’s sharp analysis points us to the fact that the Atlas is ultimately written from the perspective of the so-called Great Commission Christians, Christians who engage in and support Christian missions, as many essays address the issue of “how to grow Christianity” in a particular region. The mission strategy invoked is then one of identifying within Global Christianity the resources needed for the task, the human resources, the GCC Christians, as well as the Christian finances that could make this enterprise work. An assessment of major tools needed for finishing this task is offered in subsequent sections, like Bible translation is followed by a section on Evangelization, with a division of the world in A, B and C, according to the level “being evangelized”. Statistics are used to motivate missionaries and national workers to mission action with Christian mission being reduced to a manageable enterprise with a dominant quantitative approach and a well-defined pragmatic orientation, “as a typical school of thought coming from modern United States”. .... Kool makes largely reference to: Eric Friede, "Book Review. Atlas of Global Christianity: 1910-2010, by Johnson, T.M. & Ross, K.R. (Eds.), 2010", Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, Theological Librarianship 3(1), 2010.

Among other sources, some of which we have already analysed, Kool makes reference to:

  • Brierley, Peter. (2010). "World Religion Database: Detail Beyond Belief!". International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 34 (1): 18–20.
    • It is a critical assessment, once again coming from a missionary journal, that raises doubts as to the reliability of the WRD on the basis of the mismatch of the latter's data (purportedly based on censuses) with actual data from censuses, in particular those of the UK. Judd Birdsall and Lori Beaman, in Faith in Numbers: Can we Trust Quantitative Data on Religious Affiliation and Religious Freedom?, Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion & Diplomacy, 22 June 2020, at p. 3 say that the WRD, despite being widely cited and impressive, "comes with limitations. In his review of the Database, the statistician Peter Brierley pointed out that for the United Kingdom the Database used denominational reports, such as Church of England baptismal records, rather than the UK census figures to calculate affiliation. A tally of denominational reporting showed that 82% of Britons were Christian, whereas only 72% of them claimed to be Christian in the UK census". (n.b. Brierley makes reference to the UK 2001 census data, showing that already in 2001 the WRD overestimated Christianity in the UK by at least 10%).
    • (Added by Ramos1990). However context matters. The same source states: The WRD is a truly remarkable resource for researchers, Christian workers, church leaders, religious academics, and any others wanting to see how the various religions of the world impact both the global and the local scenes. It is always easy to criticize any grand compilation of statistical material by looking at the detail in one particular corner and declaring, "That number doesn't seem right." The sheer scope of this database, however, is incredible, and the fact that it exists and can be extended even further and updated as time goes forward in the framework of a respected university deserves huge applause for those responsible for it. Praise where praise is due, even if I am about to critique it.

Discussion (ARDA and WRD)

Part 1

The World Religion Database provides its estimates based on census and surveys: https://www.worldreligiondatabase.org/, just like Pew Research does. The sources I cited above from Oxford and Princeton call it very reliable and accurate even though it is not exact as Censuss but estimates like Pew are used all over Gpedia.Foorgood (talk) 00:39, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That being said, I want to confirm whether or not AEOs position is that ARDA/WRD estimates shouldn't override national censuss(which I agree with) meaning they could still be used for other estimates, OR if AEOs position is that ARDA/WRD should not be used at all(which is absurd given their reliable reputation with Oxford and Cambridge)?Foorgood (talk) 01:04, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The WRD is not a census (survey of the entire population of a state by that state's statistical office), and, as demonstrated by Erp herebelow, their methods for collecting and elaborating data are unclear (and, n.b., circular! the WRD makes reference to Pew which in turn made reference to WRD!). With my comments, I have abundantly demonstrated the bias of the WRD and its sponsors. Please note that some of the sources you have cited are from the same sponsors of the ARDA (e.g. Pennsylvania University), others (the Oxford etc. books you claim recommend ARDA) are from years ago when the ARDA had not yet switched completely to WRD data (I myself consulted the ARDA site in 2020/2021 and their data were completely different, and more reasonable, than those from the WRD implemented after 2020/2021) and they merely list or cite ARDA as a source. That ARDA data should never replace data from national censuses is obvious. Moreover, they are WP:CRYSTAL projections. Therefore, I think that ARDA/Gordon-Conwell data, together with Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures (another dataset of projections based on Pew 2001-2010 surveys) should be WP:DEPRECATED. Æo (talk) 10:47, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nope you cannot radically decide to block PEW and ARDA, both globally recognized as top reliable sources, from Gpedia just because you now think you know better than them. But what we can do is give preeminence to Censuss while allowing estimates to be provided lower in the article with the disclaimer that they are not official surveys etc. Foorgood (talk) 14:03, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"Both globally recognized as top reliable sources". Please note that such alleged "global recognition" is basically the result of their own campaigns of promotion, and support by their allied journalistic media. Take the F. Lionel Young source cited above: it indeed praises the WRD within a chapter dedicated to statistical sources which are part of a precise Protestant Christian missionary project. These are, very simply, unreliable biased sources. Obviously, I cannot classify them as deprecated myself; this would require community consensus. Let's see how the present discussion will develop before proceeding with further steps. Æo (talk) 14:45, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You actually think that PEW or ARDA, globally recognized as reliable, would meet all the requirements listed here?!: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gpedia:Deprecated_sources.. Again are you so extreme in your stance that you can't come to a compromise like you've done already by simply having Censuss take top priority on nations religions pages? Foorgood (talk) 15:26, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Regarding census data I have not come to any compromise; census data are simply the best, most accurate available. And yes, I think ARDA/WRD/WCD (alias Gordon-Conwell) and Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures (projections based on outdated 2001-2010 surveys/collections of data) meet the requirement for deprecation. Note that deprecation does not mean banning a source (blacklisting), it's just a warning that will appear whenever contributors will insert links to such sources. Æo (talk) 17:10, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok so you are saying that you don't feel the PEW or ARDA data needs to banned entirely from articles, just given disclaimer that it's not an official survey like a census? Foorgood (talk) 17:34, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ARDA itself is a database archive and states that when citing ARDA the original source must be included in the cite so the key question in most cases is the reliability of WRD. I have access to the World Religion Database so decided to check one recent cite in the Demographics of atheism article where the claim was "In 2020, the World Religion Database estimated that the countries with the highest percentage of atheists were North Korea and Sweden". First how on earth does anyone know what the percentage of the population are atheists in North Korea? Tunneling down through the WRD yielded the source for its info on religion in that country as "North Korea, Future of the Global Muslim Population (FGMP), 2020" and a note at the bottom of a fairly blank page was "Pew Forum Projection". Unfortunately the Pew FGMP (a) doesn't mention atheists and (b) cites the WRD as its source for the Muslim population of North Korea. I do note a WRD discussion of its methodology is at https://worldreligiondatabase.org/wrd/doc/WRD_Methodology.pdf including the paragraph:
"Religious demography must attempt to be comprehensive. In certain countries where no hard statistical data or reliable surveys are available, researchers have to rely on the informed estimates of experts in the area and subject. Researchers make no detailed attempt at a critique of each nation’s censuses and polls or each church’s statistical operations. After examining what is available, researchers then select the best data available until such time as better data come into existence. In addition, there are a number of areas of religious life where it is impossible to obtain accurate statistics, usually because of state opposition to particular tradition(s). Thus it will probably never be possible to get exact numbers of atheists in Indonesia or Baha’i in Iran. Where such information is necessary, reasonable and somewhat conservative estimates are made."
My suspicion is the estimate of the number of atheists in North Korea is a guess with very large error bars. The number of atheists in Sweden is likely to be more accurate though the latest survey they used is 2008. One should check what definition of atheist is being used by WRD. Erp (talk) 01:31, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Excuse me the 2017 Win/Gallup poll also has Sweden as the 2nd most atheist country and here https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_North_Korea we can see 2 different estimates are used to give North Korea's high atheist percentage. Estimates have their own methodology and they are considered Reliable by Oxford and Cambridge so don't try to reinvent the wheel and say that we know better than these statisticians because if so you're going to have to remove every single estimate on Gpedia for every topic- and there are thousands. Our job on Gpedia is to include estimates that are reliable while obviously giving precedence to government surveys *When available*.Foorgood (talk) 01:52, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually the estimates for North Korea in the Religion in North Korea are for 'no religion' which is not the same as being atheistic. Also the 2017 Win/Gallop report (https://web.archive.org/web/20171114113506/http://www.wingia.com/web/files/news/370/file/370.pdf) has China as being the 'least religious', not atheistic, of the countries polled with Sweden second. However in the same report when it comes to percentage stating they are atheists Sweden drops below China, Hong Kong, Japan, Czech Republic, Slovenia, South Korea, France, and Belgium. North Korea for obvious reasons was not among the countries polled. This does not help in showing that WRD is a reliable source. Note that does not mean I agree with @Æo that censuses are the best sources; censuses can have biases or be incomplete and good surveys/polls can be just as reliable or better if not as precise. I would be happier with WRD if it were specific on how it got its figures for each country (among other things it would avoid articles citing X and then citing WRD which in turn was using X). Erp (talk) 17:38, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If you click here https://www.thearda.com/world-religion/np-sort?var=ADH_704#S_1 and read the top it says "Variables: Total number of Atheists by country and percent of population that are Atheists: Persons who deny the existence of God, gods, or the supernatural. (World Religion Database, 2020) (Atheists)1" Again, you guys are acting like you know better than these world renowned sources. Foorgood (talk) 17:43, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Foorgood, I have thoroughly demonstrated that such "world renowned sources" are not produced by actual statisticians but by Protestant missionaries and Erp has demonstrated that their methods for collecting data are dubious. The line you have cited does not mean anything as to statistical survey methodology, it is just a conceptual category they have used to represent their data. Please read WP:NOTHERE. Æo (talk) 23:33, 29 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suspect the precision of exactly 4,016,422 atheists in North Korea in 2020, too precise for what is suppose to be an estimate. Have the authors not heard of significant figures or more likely it is an issue with the database design not being able to round? Also the definition at the top of the ARDA WRD chart is not quite the same as the one in the World Religion Database (the numbers do match). The latter definition is "Number of Atheists in this country's population. Atheists are persons professing atheism, skepticism, impiety, disbelief or irreligion, or Marxist-Leninist Communism regarded as a political faith, or other quasi-religions, and who abstain from religious activities and have severed all religious affiliation; and others opposed, hostile or militantly opposed to all religion (anti-religious); dialectical materialists, militant non-believers, anti-religious humanists, skeptics." There is a separate category for agnostics.
As for world renowned? Something can be well known yet still not be deemed reliable. I did a search of the Wiley Online Library for "World Religion Database", 27 hits though 16 of them were to a single book by the people who created the database. Wiley also includes the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion which had two of the cites (one of which was a critique of the World Christian Database). One would think people contributing to a journal on the scientific study of religion might be using this database extensively? I also did a search on "Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy" in Wiley, that had 1,248 hits.
I will note that Brian Grim's background does include a PhD in sociology from Penn State which should ensure some statistical training. Erp (talk) 00:35, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Oxford and Cambridge and 3 other top publishers call them reliable 12, 3, 4, 5 Why? Because they are all statisticians from Universities around the country: ARDA Advisory Board: Renata Curty (UC Santa Barbara), Joel Herndon (Duke University), Nathaniel Porter (Virginia Tech), Ruth Tillman (Pennsylvania State University), Andrew Tyner (Center for Open Science)
ARDA Affiliates: US Religion Census, Baylor Univeristy, World Religion Database at Boston University, which is part of Brill publishing: https://www.worldreligiondatabase.org/
No, you do not know better than these experts. But AEO I'm asking you, your position is that ARDA not be banned from articles you just want it with the deprecated tag?Foorgood (talk) 01:16, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And ERP you will have to show us a screenshot if you think we will simply take your word about what WRD classifies as atheism because there is so far absolutely 0 proof of what you just stated. Foorgood (talk) 01:44, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Foorgood I'm not sure I'm permitted to put a screen shot in this discussion (wikipedia images are suppose to be stuff we can use in articles) or even if it would be sufficient proof for you given you apparently have no access to the database and therefore don't know what it looks like (I could after all photoshop it). Would it be better to have a third party who has access to WRD to vouch for the accuracy? A party you choose. I'm not sure whether @NebY or @Æo have access. Erp (talk) 04:24, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Nope because as I wrote below: Here is The Harvard Library calling World Religion Database "a good source of statistics" https://guides.library.harvard.edu/religion and here's The Stanford Library https://guides.library.stanford.edu/religion saying of Arda "Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA allows you to interactively explore the highest quality data on American and international religion using online features for generating national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other reports." University of Oxford Library also recommends both of them https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections-and-resources/data/finding-data/themes/religion. All the top Universities call it a reliable source period you do not have ANY reputable source that calls it unreliable it is completely your personal opinion from your own original research. Foorgood (talk) 14:03, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Erp: I don't have access to the database, but I personally trust your word. In any case, I think it would not be a problem if you uploaded a little screenshot of the section of the page which demonstrates unclear and circular reporting; I think it would not be a copyright violation. Regarding Foorgood, I think he is gaming the discussion system by bringing the interlocutor to exhaustion, ignoring the evidence we have put forward and stubbornly copy-pasting his links which do not demonstrate anything except that ARDA/WRD is listed among other sources on some university/library websites. Æo (talk) 17:05, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would also remind @Foorgood: of WP:AGF. We have no reason to suspect Erp of fabricating a quotation from WRD and I very much hope that FoorGood doesn't imagine that such suspicion would be justified by or would justify misleading statements by Foorgood themself. NebY (talk) 17:41, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Many thanks for pointing that out about Good Faith. I would like someone else to check given that I am using an older browser so perhaps some things are hidden from me such as lack of sources (not the definition of atheists, that is definitely there). Or I should check on a different computer. I note @Foorgood has been contacting various people and one of them might have access.
I'm actually not so sure it was circular reporting since it isn't clear whether the surveys listed by WRD were actually listed sources or listed links for related information. The idea behind the WRD makes a certain amount of sense; however, the methodology is lacking in a few ways. What are the sources for each country and a short description on how they are used, who is responsible for the calculations in each country (or are the listed editors, Todd M. Johnson, Brian J. Grim, Gina A. Zurlo, Peter Crossing, and David Hannan, responsible for all countries?), are there regular archives so a researcher using it doesn't find the data changing out from underneath them (these archives might exist); why aren't figures rounded to avoid giving a precision that is impossible for estimates? what are the error estimates?
By the way if WRD is well known (whether for good and/or for bad), it probably should have its own Gpedia article. Erp (talk) 02:01, 1 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Foorgood, your wrote "Oxford and Cambridge and 3 other top publishers call them reliable" and previously "they are considered Reliable by Oxford and Cambridge". Books publishesd by Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press don't represent the opinion or judgment of OUP or CUP (or of the universities of Oxford and Cambridge), and this is true of publishers generally; for example, a book published by Harper Collins does not represent the opinion of Rupert Murdoch. An advisory board of statisticians "from Universities around the country" isn't automatically of high quality (they might be the best in the US or they might be the only ones in the US who'll work with that organisation) and the extent to which advisory boards influence an organisation's work and output varies massively. NebY (talk) 14:13, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Here is even The Harvard Library calling World Religion Database "a good source of statistics" https://guides.library.harvard.edu/religion and here's The Stanford Library https://guides.library.stanford.edu/religion saying of Arda "Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA allows you to interactively explore the highest quality data on American and international religion using online features for generating national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other reports." University of Oxford Library also recommends both of them https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections-and-resources/data/finding-data/themes/religion. All the top Universities call it a reliable source period you do not have ANY reputable source that calls it unreliable it is completely your personal opinion from your own original research. Foorgood (talk) 16:01, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Foorgood, note that the sites you have linked merely list ARDA among other sources, and the blurb is likely a self-presentation. They are not critical researches; critical assessments are those like the ones from which I have excerpted the quotes reported at the beginning of the discussion (Liedhegener et al. 2013, Hsu et al. 2008). Also please note, and I repeat this for the umpteenth time, that the ARDA acquired all its data from the WRD only by 2021/2022, and before then it hosted completely different data. As already expressed before, the first problem here is the WRD, and the ARDA is the secondary problem as it functions as the dissemination platform of WRD data. Æo (talk) 17:54, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And as you saw Harvard calls World Religion Database a good source so do yourself a favor and stop humiliating yourself trying to make it seem deprecated and pretending you know better than Harvard Stanford and Oxford. Even the Yale and Princeton Library websites suggest World Religion Database. Foorgood (talk) 17:57, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's better, at least to start with; you clearly identify those mentions as being from university libraries. But then you veer into saying "all the top universities", as if the libraries are the universities, as if those samples do call it a reliable source, and as if your sample proves that all "top" universities or even their libraries call it a reliable source. And then you tell me that "you do not have ANY reputable source that calls it unreliable it is completely your personal opinion from your own original research". You do not know what my opinion is; my comment above on your statements was my first. NebY (talk) 17:57, 30 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That first sentence from Stanford Library, "Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world", is also in our article Association of Religion Data Archives and has been since its origination in 2006. The Stanford page appears to be comparatively recent - note that this Jan 2022 list of guides from the Wayback Machine doesn't mention a religion page. The Stanford statement might be copied from Gpedia, which is not a WP:RS, or both might be taken from a self-description of ARDA, whose website currently has "now including American and international collections submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world."[1] (I notice that's not such a strong statement, not making a claim about all the data.) It does not appear to be Stanford Library's independent appraisal of ARDA. NebY (talk) 17:31, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correct, as I wrote above the blurb is a self-presentation copied and pasted here and there, including on Gpedia. Also note that the self-proclaimed "foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world" are fundamentally the same people of the WRD alias Gordon-Conwell and of the John Templeton Foundation (another organisation about which we could report plenty of criticism). Æo (talk) 17:38, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sorry, I missed that you'd found it on wikipedia too! NebY (talk) 17:46, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(Personal attack removed) Foorgood (talk) 18:13, 31 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that much of the evidence presented so far by User:Foorgood indicates that ARDA is a reliable source. The set of references that were provided 12, 3, 4, 5 indicate that there is scholarly usage of such a database. Keep in mind that all major surveys have their limitations and none are really the final word - especially on atheism. Estimates of atheism are particularly problematic e.g. estimates from China differ between surveys (WIN-Gallup International vs Pew Research Center) and China and well... Asia alone shifts the global estimates of atheism considering that just China by itslef has the greatest number of atheists in the world. From wikipedia's stand point there is no issue using ARDA. It is not a depreciated source. It has limitations and problems like all other surveys. Attribution may solve the issues of putting any results from any particular survey in wikipedia's voice.
From the arguments presented against ARDA, none indicate that it is a depreciable source. ARDA has notable sociological researchers like Roger Finke in its board [2] and peer reviewed articles on it are also available [3]. Also, there are many hits from other scholarly sources on google scholar using the database too [4].Ramos1990 (talk) 00:11, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In my view it is not ARDA that is in question but rather one of the databases it archives, World Religion Database. ARDA itself says that the source should be cited with ARDA just being the repository.
If I modify the google scholar search for just "World Religion Database" I get 559 results though some of them aren't exactly supportive. For instance
one article reviewing the database states

Second, the editors seem to have constructed their estimates of religious distribution primarily from surveys of denominations and missionaries, not from censuses or representative surveys of individuals

and

[things which] would radically improve the usefulness and face-validity of the data:

  • Documenting how each estimate was calculated. A Webbased format is ideal for revealing this kind of information: most users would not be interested in the details, and costs to print such information would be exorbitant.
  • Providing some measure of uncertainty with each estimate (e.g., standard errors or even a qualitative evaluation by the editors). Researchers could then integrate uncertainty into their statistical models or exclude cases with uncertain estimates. As it is, estimates for Afghanistan, Algeria, China, and North Korea appear as precise as estimates from Canada and Germany. (Woodberry, Robert D. (2010). "World Religion Database: Impressive - but Improvable". International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 34 (1): 21–22. ISSN 0272-6122. Retrieved 2022-11-02.)
I also noted that many of the other cites were in articles authored by the database creators.
I also did a search on jstor which tends to be a bit more selective than google scholar on what is scholarly though some recent stuff (3-5 years) may not yet be available on it. There were 31 results (with at least 3 of those by people directly involved in the database). One is by Hsu et al. 2008 mentioned above which is not favorable to the database. One article had the statement

"Relying on the 2010 estimates of the World Religion Database (WRD), this method is used in instances where no better data than the religious composition of the birth country were available" (Henning, Sabine; Hovy, Bela; Connor, Phillip; Tucker, Catherine; Grieco, Elizabeth M.; Rytina, Nancy F. (2011). "Demographic Data on International Migration Levels, Trends and Characteristics". International Migration Review. 45 (4): 979–1016. ISSN 0197-9183. JSTOR 41427975. Retrieved 2022-11-02.)

This seems to show a reluctance to use it if anything better was available. Also

"At the extreme high end, the World Religion Database puts the percentage of Christians in China at 7.76 percent, or a just above 100 million, but this number is most certainly an overestimation" (Marsh, Christopher; Zhong, Zhifeng (2010). "Chinese Views on Church and State". Journal of Church and State. 52 (1): 34–49. ISSN 0021-969X. JSTOR 23922246. Retrieved 2022-11-02.)

WRD seems to be on the edge of acceptability. At most it should only be used if no better source exists (I still can't imagine how they calculated the so very precise numbers for North Korea). Erp (talk) 02:48, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WRD is not on the edge of acceptability. It is clearly used in the sources you cited above. Brill, which is an academic publisher, publishes the database [5] and it comes from Boston University by the way so it is RS by that measure alone. I see no reason to object to it from wikipedia's policy standpoint. The sources you brought do not show that it is a bad database, because clearly peer reviewed sources do use it. Google scholar also produces peer reviewed articles and books that use it too. I got more than 800 when looking at "world religion database (WRD)". How is this a problem for it? It is used quite a bit. Bad sources do not get used this often to build on research. So clearly it has value for academics.
Now, there are studies that do sloppy work on atheism such as WIN-Gallup which showed global atheism rising way too fast in 2012, and magically declining by half in the subsequent WIN-Gallup surveys within the same decade. This of course is preposterous - that atheists would double and then decline in 10 years. People, on a global scale, do not change radically one way and then change back in a decade. And some researchers have advised caution on WIN-Gallup's data set (e.g. Oxford Handbook of Atheism) since their numbers on atheism in China are way too large - compared to all data sets on religion and atheism available. But none of this makes WIN-Gallup an non usable or depreciated source on wikipedia.
That is because all studies have their weaknesses and they usually contradict each other in the literature (Pew vs WIN-Gallup vs WVS vs census data, etc). Gpedia just presents what certain data sets have come up with. We as wikieditors do not psychologize or make assessments or judgments on how one database is good or bad methodologically. As long as WRD has an academic standing in some way in the literature, there is no real reason to discount it over any other. Attribution should take care of placing the weight on the database being cited for the numbers.Ramos1990 (talk) 06:10, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As it has already been written and amply demonstrated, the ARDA is a repository of data which at some point between 2021 and 2022 changed all its datasets with those of the WRD/WCD alias Gordon-Conwell. It is the latter that is in question in this discussion, and judgment on the ARDA follows judgment on WRD/WCD. As it has been widely demonstrated, the WRD/WCD is a Protestant Christian encyclopedia, dataset and missionary tool. Its sources are Protestant Christian missionaries, for the most part, as stated in its own methodology paper (pp. 13-14: ... The WRD taps into knowledge from contacts in every country of the world who inform us on what is happening in non-traditional forms of Christianity, such as churches and insider movements ...; notice that some of these firsthand informers, "insiders", are sometimes completely out of reality: for instance, in 2013 some Protestant churches predicted that 10% of Mongolians would be Christians by 2020, yet between 2010 and 2020 (census data) Christians in the country have declined from 2.2% to 1.3%).
As for the sources you have listed (which are the same links provided by Foorgood), the respectability of the publisher or hosting site does not necessarily imply that the content is qualitative and reliable. Cf. WP:RS: WP:SCHOLARSHIP: "POV and peer review in journals": Care should be taken with journals that exist mainly to promote a particular point of view. A claim of peer review is not an indication that the journal is respected, or that any meaningful peer review occurs...; cf. Drmies above who has contacted one of the hosting websites: One of the librarians listed on one of the pages you linked confirmed to me what academics already know: a note on a library guide on a university library's website should NOT be taken as any kind of official endorsement for the reliability of that database.
Regarding more in detail the sources you (and Foorgood) have listed, I repeat once again: #1 is a book dedicated to a particular Protestant Christian view and project which is ultimately the same one of Gordon-Conwell; #2 is written by one of the compilers of the ARDA itself (Finke of Pennsylvania University); #3 simply lists and comments the ARDA among other resources, and, note it well, goes back to 2011 when ARDA had not yet switched to the WRD/WCD (it says that at that time its sources were mainly the World Value Survey and the International Social Survey Program); #4 is just the list of references used within the book; #5 is not a source of a good quality and in any case I don't find any reference to the ARDA. Æo (talk) 10:02, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
P.S. O.T. Regarding atheism/irreligion and WIN-Gallup, which are not into question in the present discussion, notice that the definition of "atheism" and "irreligion" can vary according to the context, and that these categories overlap and are not as well definible as belief in a specific Abrahamic religion. Also notice that "atheism" and "irreligion" can overlap with the categories of Eastern religions: Buddhists could be considered atheists, while the notion of "religion" in East Asia does not traditionally apply to non-Abrahamic religions (or to forms of East Asian religions which have adopted an organisational form similar to that of Abrahamic religions), especially to East Asian diffused traditions of worship of gods and ancestors, and the same could be said for certain non-Abrahamic religions and unorganised beliefs which are emerging in the Western world. Æo (talk) 11:25, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Part 2

Worth observing the Foorgood has repeatedly canvassed editors to this discussion; that's how Ramos1990 got here, for example. --66.44.22.126 (talk) 12:13, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What are you talking about? Nowhere did he/her or anyone else reach out to me prior to me making a comment on this thread.
Back to the program, to the comments of AEO, I see that most of the discussion is not on whether it is academic (clearly it is - has peer review, Brill is an academic published with peer review, Boston University, notable academics head the project, many peer reviewed publications widely use it, etc). On this alone it is a RS per wikipedia. The stuff about WP:Scholarship applies to fringe publishers, but not Brill (which uses peer review).
Most of the issues that mentioned in this thread relate to methodology and the papers cited in the top of the thread (Liedhegener (2013) and Hsu (2008) both show generally positive views of WRD despite any shortcomings). This has nothing to do with the fact that it IS an academic source, is used by academics to advance research and that it used as a tool in academic research on religion worldwide. As far as I have seen, no major objections have been provided on this latter front. If bias or fault is perceived (this is not agreed upon and the uses of it in peer reviewed publications show its wide utility), this would not be a problem for wikipedia either because even WP:PARTISAN states that sources do not need to be neutral and that these sources may be better sources for numerous contexts and that attribution would be appropriate.
On top of that I see that researchers on Islam use it too The Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies, and apparently Pew uses WRD data for some of its numbers in Africa for instance The Palgrave Handbook of Islam in Africa. (interestingly it mentions that census data have design problems as well so no dataset is without its problems - which is true since censuses have inconsistent terminology and metrics on religion and some censuses like the American one do not ask about religion). Also, the Liedhegener (2013) paper mentioned at the top of this thread says WCD was used for Encyclopedia Britannica numbers too. Here is another paper using WRD in combination with other sources to get a comprehensive demography [6]. Here is another on Islam in combination with other studies [7]. Also here is one that compares WRD numbers in New Zealand on the nonreligious along with other datasets and is comparable to Pew. Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion: Volume 7
The more I look into this the more I find that it is used quite a bit in the literature along with other datasets either As Is or in a supplementary fashion. I don't see it being used in a depreciative fashion. I see no issue with it being cited with attribution (most studies get attributed either way) and scholars generally do not have a problem with it either (which is why they use it in the first place including general positive comments on it from Liedhegener (2013) and Hsu (2008) which were cited at the top o the thread), and there certainly is no wikipedia policy basis against WRD.Ramos1990 (talk) 22:52, 2 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"...As far as I have seen, no major objections have been provided on this latter front". What needed to be said has been said, about the use of the source in certain books and about the publishers of either the source itself or books which have made use of it, and academic assessments regarding its non-neutrality and dubious methodology (with one such assessments even affirming that they "seem to have constructed their estimates... from surveys of denominations and missionaries") have been provided (please see WP:IDNHT).
Moving forward, please notice that there are various precedents of sources sponsored by or affiliated to religious organisations which have been deemed unreliable: Catholic Answers, Catholic News Agency, Church Militant, Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, and, most significantly, the academic CESNUR and its journal Bitter Winter, which are listed among semi-deprecated sources for being "an apologia site for new religious movements, and thus is inherently unreliable in its core area due to conflicts of interest. There is also consensus that its content is unreliable on its own merits". Also the Annuario Pontificio of the Catholic Church is not used in Gpedia for statistics about Catholics in every country of the world, so I don't see why Gpedia should be filled with statistics produced by the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Æo (talk) 15:10, 3 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we have brought up our points on the matter and when you look at the sources, they show more than what you constantly present in your quotes. The sources you presented here usually support WRD too. For instance, its own methodology paper you cited clearly shows that WRD's sources include Censuses, surveys and polls along with denominational data (see p. 4-5) methodology paper. So just isolating "from surveys of denominations and missionaries" is incorrect on methodological grounds and even this quote misrepresents the source you extracted this from (Woodberry, Robert D. (2010). "World Religion Database: Impressive - but Improvable") because after reading it, Woodberry is very positive to WRD overall and acknowledges its comparativeness with other datasets and even says "Still, despite my criticisms, I will eagerly use these data in my research. I do not know of any better data available on such a broad scale and am amazed at the editors’ ability to provide even tentative estimates of religious distribution by province and people group." Plus the fact that WRD is used by Islamic researchers, nonreligious researchers, Pew Research Center (actually integrates it as part of Pew's methodological design per Barton in Palgrave Handbook), CIA estimates (per Woodberry), and Encyclopedia Britannica (per Liedhegener) show that it much more reliable and trusted than you are willing to give credit. But since all datasets have their problems - including censuses, attribution would solve any issues. And its academic status with Brill [8] which is a peer reviewed publisher helps too.Ramos1990 (talk) 00:52, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Another edition of WRD/WCD data has been the Atlas of Global Christianity (produced by the same Gordon-Conwell team). I have found negative critical assessments even for this edition, this time coming from an "insider" (Christian missionary) source, even though through an academic publisher, written by Anne-Marie Kool of the Evangelical Theological Seminary of Osijek, Croatia:
  • Kool, Anne-Marie (2016). "Revisiting Mission in, to and from Europe through Contemporary Image Formation" (PDF). In Charles E. Van Engen (ed.). The State of Missiology Today: Global Innovations in Christian Witness. Downers Grove: IVP Academic. pp. 231–49.
    • p. 1: 《... [the resource] seeks to give “as nuanced a picture as possible” of the history of Christianity over the last 100 years showing an “unmistakable” general pattern, that Christianity experiences a “severe recession” on the European continent that once was its primary base, while it has undergone “unprecedented growth and expansion” in the other parts of the world.》
    • p. 2: 《... widespread caution is raised with regard to the accuracy of the figures and not to engage in statistical analysis with the data, “without robustness checking… they contain random error and probably some systematic error” ...》
    • p. 9, containing a self-criticism from Kool for having herself made uncritical use of the data: 《The World Christian Database and the World Religion Database serve as sources for the data of the Atlas. With regard to the methodology used, Woodberry is right in emphasizing that “more transparency is needed”. It might well be that the great quantity of details easily silenced possible critical voices. It is peculiar that hardly any serious critical interaction and discussion of the underlying methodology of the Atlas has taken place, neither of its two data providing predecessors. The data are simply taken for granted, as I have taken them for as authoritative in my teaching and research during the last two decades.》
    • p. 12, about systematic overestimation of Christianity in Europe, with allusions that there might be financial reason behind such overestimations: 《The statistical image of Europe that is now communicated only re-enforces the image of Europe as a Christian continent, by not giving insight in the internal diversification and erosion. So why is only this broad definition used? Is it for fear of losing power? Or for maintaining the image of the numerically strong “World C” that provides the human and financial resources to “finish the task”? Are matters of Christian finance playing a role? Out of a sense of empire building? Or of a sense of hidden resistance to accept that Europe also is now also a mission field? Is it out of fear of becoming a minority? Fear for ending up statistically weaker than the Muslims? Or an attempt to cling to the influence of the “Western” over the “non-Western” world, based on an image of Europe as still a massive Christian continent?》
    • p. 13; it is a missionary tool designed for a specific strategy of aggression towards what in American missionary Christianity has been conceptualised as the "10/40 window": 《Eric Friede’s sharp analysis points us to the fact that the Atlas is ultimately written from the perspective of the so-called Great Commission Christians, Christians who engage in and support Christian missions, as many essays address the issue of “how to grow Christianity” in a particular region. The mission strategy invoked is then one of identifying within Global Christianity the resources needed for the task, the human resources, the GCC Christians, as well as the Christian finances that could make this enterprise work. An assessment of major tools needed for finishing this task is offered in subsequent sections, like Bible translation is followed by a section on Evangelization, with a division of the world in A, B and C, according to the level “being evangelized”. Statistics are used to motivate missionaries and national workers to mission action with Christian mission being reduced to a manageable enterprise with a dominant quantitative approach and a well-defined pragmatic orientation, “as a typical school of thought coming from modern United States”.》 Kool makes largely reference to: Eric Friede, "Book Review. Atlas of Global Christianity: 1910-2010, by Johnson, T.M. & Ross, K.R. (Eds.), 2010", Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press, Theological Librarianship 3(1), 2010.
Among other sources, some of which we have already analysed, Kool makes reference to:
  • Brierley, Peter. (2010). "World Religion Database: Detail Beyond Belief!". International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 34 (1): 18–20.
    • I can't access the paper at the moment. However, it is a critical assessment, once again coming from a missionary journal, that raises doubts as to the reliability of the WRD on the basis of the mismatch of the latter's data (purportedly based on censuses) with actual data from censuses, in particular those of the UK. Judd Birdsall and Lori Beaman, in Faith in Numbers: Can we Trust Quantitative Data on Religious Affiliation and Religious Freedom?, Transatlantic Policy Network on Religion & Diplomacy, 22 June 2020, at p. 3 say that the WRD, despite being widely cited and impressive, "comes with limitations. In his review of the Database, the statistician Peter Brierley pointed out that for the United Kingdom the Database used denominational reports, such as Church of England baptismal records, rather than the UK census figures to calculate affiliation. A tally of denominational reporting showed that 82% of Britons were Christian, whereas only 72% of them claimed to be Christian in the UK census". (n.b. Brierley makes reference to the UK 2001 census data, showing that already in 2001 the WRD overestimated Christianity in the UK by at least 10%).
Æo (talk) 22:13, 4 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Appreciate the references. However, again these do not impact WRD much at all. The Kool source on the Atlas mentions that WRD data is used by the Atlas, not that WRD is the Atlas or that the goal of the Atlas was the same as WRD. Just like Pew uses WRD, it makes no sense to associate Pew's agendas with WRD's database just because one uses the other. The Atlas' goal and interpretations numerical data is different than WRD and Kool rightly focuses on the contents of the Atlas, instead of WRD (WRD is not mentioned much throughout the paper). WRD is one data set and is not the only one and attribution solves any issues here on wikipedia. You keep on thinking that these papers are calling for the removal of WRD when they are actually trying to improve it and they continuously praise it overall. They all agree that it is very valuable and merely say that there are limitations to it - just as the same applies to Pew, Gallup, and censuses all around the world. This is nothing new in this and if you ever look at the numbers of nonreligion, for example; from Pew, Gallup, and Cenuses, there are significant discrepancies to be found there between these datasets (easy examples include China, Japan, and numerous countries in Europe like Netherlands and Sweden). They are all flawed and limited. None stands as the authority. Stuff like "spiritual but not religious" messes up the numbers because religion is not perceived in Western sense in most of the world.
If we want to criticize census data, there are papers showing the limitations and issues with that too [9]. Censuses get quantity - but they do not guarantee quality of course. In fact Pew's methodology mentions the limitations of surveys and census too (America has not asked on religion for 70 years, for example). Pew clearly states that "Censuses and nationally representative surveys can provide valid and reliable measures of religious landscapes when they are conducted following the best practices of social science research. Valid measurement in censuses and surveys also requires that respondents are free to provide information without fear of negative governmental or social consequences. However, variation in methods among censuses and surveys (including sampling, question wording, response categories and period of data collection) can lead to variation in results. Social, cultural or political factors also may affect how answers to census and survey questions are provided and recorded." Its pretty obvious that big variations exist between just these datasets alone. Anyways, Pew also mention that they used WRD data for 57 countries as a supplement in their methodology in that same section. Furthermore, Pew acknowledges that statistical reports from religious groups are also valid measures. "In cases where censuses and surveys lacked sufficient detail on minority groups, the estimates also drew on estimates provided by the World Religion Database, which takes into account other sources of information on religious affiliation, including statistical reports from religious groups themselves."
So I don't see much of an issue in light of this. So all of this thread on equating a critique of a dataset = bad dataset is preposterous when you see that all datasets have problems and issues. In fact, there is research indicating that "religion" is invented in surveys and polls (if you are interested see Wuthnow, Robert (2015). Inventing American Religion : Polls, Surveys, and the Tenuous Quest for a Nation's Faith. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190258900.) We know that WRD is used by Pew, CIA, Encyclopedia Britannica, Islamic researchers, and nonreligious researchers among many others. But most importantly it satisfies wikipedia's RS criteria since it has peer review, and is from Brill, an academic publisher.
You cited Brierley, Peter. (2010). "World Religion Database: Detail Beyond Belief!". International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 34 (1): 18–20.. Cool. It says the same thing - that there are limitations. But keep in mind what he also clearly states "It is always easy to criticize any grand compilation of statistical material by looking at the detail in one particular corner and declaring, "That number doesn't seem right." The sheer scope of this database, however, is incredible, and the fact that it exists and can be extended even further and updated as time goes forward in the framework of a respected university deserves huge applause for those responsible for it. Praise where praise is due, even if I am about to critique it." And after reading it, the overall view is positive to WRD, not negative on WRD.Ramos1990 (talk) 02:21, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
WP:IDNHT:
  • You write: "...these do not impact WRD much at all". This is your opinion, not that of Kool, and not my opinion or that of other editors for whom the WRD's reliability is questionable.
  • "The Kool source on the Atlas mentions that WRD data is used by the Atlas, not that WRD is the Atlas or that the goal of the Atlas was the same as WRD". Kool is clear: "The World Christian Database and the World Religion Database serve as sources for the data of the Atlas", and the Atlas is produced by the very same Gordon-Conwell team.
  • As for the rest of your message, it is completely off-topic and diverts from the main theme. Censuses, Pew, CIA, Britannica (of which the latter two are not statistical organisations and only cite figures taken from other sources) are not what is being discussed here. Indeed, Pew-Templeton's Global Religious Futures is affected by the present discussion since it, just like ARDA/WCD/WRD, is a violation of WP:CRYSTAL (pseudodata projections based on Pew's 2001-2010 cycles of surveys, which are being presented throughout Gpedia as hard data for 2020, 2030, 2040, 2050). The fact that Pew used the WRD for some of its data only detracts from Pew's own quality.
Æo (talk) 14:24, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Atlas uses WRD as a source for its data, like you mentioned. So does Pew, Muslim researchers, nonreligion researchers, etc. None of this means that WRD is equivalent to the interpretations, contents, views or arguments presented in the Atlas, Pew, Muslim, nonreligion sources. It is just a dataset. In terms of projections, I am sure you already know that ALL projections are wrong. In the last quarter century it was projected by numerous sources and studies that significant parts of the world would not be religious, due to secularization. But this never happened. Projections are usually wrong. But that is a different discussion.Ramos1990 (talk) 16:57, 5 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not being sure, whether it is the right place, I am repeating my comment regaridng sources for membership data in religious bodies. They should be used according this priority ranking: 1. Data of the religious body itself if officially counted like in Austria and Germany 2. Census data like in India, Indonesia and many other contries 3. Data from high quality independent surveys like in Spain or US 4. CIA data may fill the remainig gaps 5. Data from missionary sources should be avoided! Nillurcheier (talk) 10:55, 7 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thank you, Nillurcheier, in the next days I will proceed with drawing up a summary rationale and a RfC for the deprecation of missionary and projected data. Æo (talk) 01:07, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Summary of general consensus

According to authoritative assessments provided hereinabove:

N.b. the links may not be exhaustive, as the data have been replicated on various other websites.

The problem with these datasets has arisen since they have been passed off in various Gpedia articles as hard data (which they are not, as they are projections). In any case, there is general consensus, both in the discussion hereinabove and in past discussions on other Gpedia talk pages, that projected data and data produced by missionary organisations should never be used to replace census data and data produced by professional (non-partisan) statistical organisations.--Æo (talk) 22:21, 15 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Correction to the "summary of general consensus"

Parts 1 and 2 of the whole discussion clearly show massive disagreements among editors on everything mentioned in the "Summary of general consensus". There was no consensus.

  • The sources used "authoritative assessments provided hereinabove" generally support the use of either of the 3 databases they discuss (ARDA, WCD, WRD). These sources do not depreciate theses databases and some specifically mention that they use these databases themselves. I extracted more quotes at the bottom of some of these sources to show context since it looks like ignoring the positive things they say would distort their assessment. Context matters and transparency is important.
  • Pew-Templeton Global Religious Futures was not discussed much either and even here there were clear disagreements among editors.
  • The notion of using projection data was not discussed much throughout this whole discussion and in the little that was mentioned, there were clearly disagreements among editors.Ramos1990 (talk) 01:13, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Replying to your points,

  • 1) There is a general consensus that the sources are questionable, both from the present discussion and past ones. In the present discussion, 5 users have raised concerns, while 2 (i.e. you and Foorgood) have continued to repeat the same things to support the datasets. The consensus, from both the present and past discussions, is that these sources should never replace censuses and surveys from statistical organisations; it is not about deprecation, as we have not reached that point yet, and it will require a RfC.
  • 2&3) About GRF and projections, I mainly referred to past discussions. In any case, they are against WP:CRYSTAL and passing them off as actual data is very simply an untruth.

--Æo (talk) 00:49, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

We should leave it up to an uninvolved editor to summarize this whole discussion, not you or me. Other editors have not agreed to your points. Most just provided very few comments early on on what makes the source relaible or not per wikipedia criteria. None of which look like they mention your points one methodology at all. And none said these were unreliable explicitly either.Ramos1990 (talk) 01:13, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ramos1990, I agree about an uninvolved closure. However, my summary was not meant to close the discussion, it was meant to provide a rationale for a RfC as the next step. In any case, I have taken part in various discussions concerning this topic over the years, in many of which Iryna Harpy also participated and supported my views; my idea of consensus is built on those past discussions too.--Æo (talk) 01:28, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
P.S. The issue about methodology was first raised by Erp, then further investigated by me, and is mentioned in particular in one of the excerpts from Anne-Marie Kool's paper.--Æo (talk) 01:59, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: deprecation of Gordon-Conwell's WRD/WCD/ARDA & Pew-Templeton's GRF

QUESTION: Should we deprecate the Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary's World Religion Database/World Christian Database, also published by the Association of Religion Data Archives, as WP:SPONSORED, WP:PARTISAN, WP:QUESTIONABLE & WP:CRYSTAL, and the Pew-Templeton's Global Religious Futures dataset as WP:CRYSTAL, thus as unreliable sources in the field of religion statistics and demographics?

Please see:

Further considerations:

  • Note well that this RfC for deprecation is unrelated to the "general consensus" elaborated hereabove, which is built on the discussion further above plus the fragmented consensuses about the same issue reached over the years in various Gpedia talk pages (according to which the datasets in question should never replace data from censuses and statistical organisations, as they are built largely on Christian missionary sources and/or speculative projections, not yielded by actual surveys); this RfC will only enforce that consensus through deprecation, in case the community will express itself in favour of deprecation.
  • A RfC for deprecation is needed because, despite the aforementioned fragmented consensuses collected over the years, the datasets in question are periodically re-added to Gpedia articles about countries and religion demographics and passed off as results of actual surveys, and this could be better curbed with a deprecation warning.

Nom:--Æo (talk) 19:27, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Survey (GC's WRD/WCD/ARDA & PT's GRF)

I suspect that there has been some WP:CANVASSING here, given that an account with no previous involvement with either this discussion or noticeboard has suddenly returned after weeks of inactivity specifically to express a vote here, and that Foorgood has been provocatively counting the votes. Better to remind everyone that this is not a ballot (WP:POLL) with the tag above, and to Foorgood that he has not "won the dispute" as he has been claiming on some talk pages.--Æo (talk) 07:50, 1 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Please respond Yes or No.

  • No. I'm not seeing reasoning in your arguments here or in past discussion that are compelling. WP:PARTISAN does not affect the reliability of the source, so I'm not sure why you're bringing that up. I think we can all agree that census data should be used where it can, but when we don't have it, we used the best we can find. Unfortunately, humanity has had to rely on religious sources for centuries, across many fields, because they were often the only institution with the means or authority to collect the data. Pyrrho the Skipper (talk) 16:58, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Pyrrho the Skipper, the problem of reliability is not that these datasets are "religious sources" (there can be datasets provided by religious organisations that are neutral, such as the membership registers published by churches in Germany and Austria). The problem with these datasets is that they have been widely questioned by academic critique as being driven by a systematic bias. Besides the bias, the main problem for Gpedia is that these datasets are projections and are periodically re-added to Gpedia articles, passed off as hard data, often even overwriting data from censuses and reliable surveys held by statistical organisations (e.g. [10], [11], [12]), so even in those cases (and they are the majority) where there are better and neutral sources (censuses and reliable surveys). A good comparison, and precedent, is the CESNUR, which is currently deprecated because it was ascertained to be driven by a systematic bias in favour of various new religious movements. In any case, deprecation is not a complete blacklisting, and in this case it would only be a warning that these datasets are questioned by RS and there are better sources to use. Æo (talk) 17:46, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) strives to democratize access to the best data on religion. Founded as the American Religion Data Archive in 1997 and going online in 1998, the initial archive was targeted at researchers interested in American religion. The targeted audience and the data collection have both greatly expanded since 1998, now including American and international collections submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA is generously supported by the Lilly Endowment, the John Templeton Foundation, Chapman University, Pennsylvania State University and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
ARDA Advisory Board: Renata Curty (UC Santa Barbara), Joel Herndon (Duke University), Nathaniel Porter (Virginia Tech), Ruth Tillman (Pennsylvania State University), Andrew Tyner (Center for Open Science)
ARDA Affiliates: US Religion Census, Baylor Univeristy, World Religion Database at Boston University, which is part of Brill publishing: https://www.worldreligiondatabase.org/
Here is The Harvard Library calling World Religion Database "a good source of statistics" https://guides.library.harvard.edu/religion and here's The Stanford Library https://guides.library.stanford.edu/religion saying of Arda "Data included in the ARDA are submitted by the foremost religion scholars and research centers in the world. The ARDA allows you to interactively explore the highest quality data on American and international religion using online features for generating national profiles, GIS maps, church membership overviews, denominational heritage trees, tables, charts, and other reports." University of Oxford Library also recommends both of them https://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/collections-and-resources/data/finding-data/themes/religion.
Below are multiple book sources that call ARDA and the World Religion Database "Reliable", including the Oxford handbook and Cambridge University: 12, 3, 4, 5
Foorgood (talk) 19:04, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. Having read through all of this, I think that while some individual sources do question the databases noted above (unsurprising given the controversy of religious topics in general), I think there is no basis for deprecation. Given the number of well-respected institutions that recommend the sources, as noted above, I'm inclined to think these are reliable enough for Gpedia's purposes. --Jayron32 19:18, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No… but: I don’t think deprecation is the right answer here… but… Perhaps in-text attribution should be required. This would prevent the data being presented in Gpedia’s voice, and alert the reader that there might be bias in its compilation. Blueboar (talk) 20:01, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Yes. For details, see my previous reply to Pyrrho the Skipper, plus my previous discussions with Nillurcheier and Lipwe ([13], [14]), and Erp ([15]). Moreover note that, as it has been pointed out by NebY in the discussion above, the fact that the datasets in question are listed on the websites of academic institutions (Foorgood has copy-pasted the very same message which started the entire discussion) does not imply that they are reliable and that said academic institutions support them (Drmies even contacted one such institutions and they confirmed this). The solution invoked by Blueboar ("...alert the reader that there might be bias...") would be possible, in my opinion, only through a deprecation warning.--Æo (talk) 20:38, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • Aren't users who initiate RFCs not supposed to make a vote? In any case User Ramos1990 would make 5 NOs to your RFC.. Do you not give up when you have been denied?Foorgood (talk) 21:00, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      • At WP:RFC I have not found a precise rule that forbids the nom to express his vote (if there is such a norm, I will strike my comment). In any case, it's certainly not a double vote. Æo (talk) 21:13, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
        • Foorgood, don't be silly. Of course the nominator has a say here. Why shouldn't they? And Ramos1990 does not count for five. Drmies (talk) 21:38, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Yes--meaning, the numbers simply cannot be accepted at face value, and I'm somewhat more critical here than Blueboar, whose opinion I value, is. If scholars agree that for instance the number of Chinese Christians is inflated, then the basic facts supplied by the database are in question. If I read one more time that "Below is ARDAs impressive resume from their about page" or some such thing I'm going to cry--it is very unfortunate that Foorgood keeps repeating the same points no matter how much scholarship Æo cites. I was pinged here because I contacted one of the librarians on whose page the database was linked, pointed them to the discussion (weeks ago), and they told me they would rephrase the "recommendation" on their website--and noted of course how linking something is HARDLY the same as giving a wholehearted endorsement. Foorgood seems to be deaf to such arguments. Randykitty, I'm wondering if you have an opinion here--and the time to read through this long, long thread. I'll add that for me this is a tricky decision, because Brill is one of those publishers that I tell my students are eminently reliable--and not just because they published my book, haha. Drmies (talk) 21:38, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Ah yes I will take your word about the librarian. Maybe I will call another librarian and get a statement that they still recommend WRD.. in any case Ramos already stated he will come respond with a NO so the majority will overrule such an absurd request for deprecation. At that point maybe we will finally stop hearing of such "repetitions" you allude to.
    Foorgood (talk) 22:20, 21 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No These databases seem to be respected sources by demographers and are NOT partisan. Brill publishes these and it is academic. These databases are actually used by a diversity of scholars and authoritative sources such as scholars of Islam (e.g. The Oxford Handbook of Politics in Muslim Societies), scholars of nonreligion / irreligion (e.g. Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion: Volume 7), Pew Research Center's uses it in own methodology and database (see Pew's methodology and The Palgrave Handbook of Islam in Africa), is used for CIA estimates (per Woodberry in " authoritative critical assessments" link in RFC), and is used by Encyclopedia Britannica (per Liedhegener in "authoritative critical assessments" link in RFC).
I extracted more quotes from the "authoritative critical assessments" link in RFC because upon closer inspection they do not really support the claims in the RFC. They actually show deep respect for these databases, not depreciation:
- Hsu, Becky; Reynolds, Amy; Hackett, Conrad; Gibbon, James (2008). "Estimating the Religious Composition of All Nations: An Empirical Assessment of the World Christian Database" - here is their overall conclusion: "In sum, we find that the WCD religious composition data are highly correlated with other sources that offer cross-national religious composition estimates. For cross-national studies, the WCD may be more useful than other sources of data because of the inclusion of the largest number of countries, different time periods, and information on all, even small, religious groups." Even in the abstract of the paper they state that World Christian Database highly correlated with 4 other databases: World Values Survey, Pew Global Assessment Project, CIA World Factbook, and the U.S. Department of State.
- Woodberry, Robert D. (2010). "World Religion Database: Impressive - but Improvable" - "Despite these criticisms, we can appreciate the editors’ achievement in applying a relatively consistent methodology across the world. Furthermore, the WRD estimates are highly correlated with other cross-national estimates of religious distribution, a conclusion supported by an article by Becky Hsu and others." and also "Still, despite my criticisms, I will eagerly use these data in my research. I do not know of any better data available on such a broad scale and am amazed at the editors’ ability to provide even tentative estimates of religious distribution by province and people group."
- Brierley, Peter. (2010). "World Religion Database: Detail Beyond Belief!" - "The WRD is a truly remarkable resource for researchers, Christian workers, church leaders, religious academics, and any others wanting to see how the various religions of the world impact both the global and the local scenes. It is always easy to criticize any grand compilation of statistical material by looking at the detail in one particular corner and declaring, "That number doesn't seem right." The sheer scope of this database, however, is incredible, and the fact that it exists and can be extended even further and updated as time goes forward in the framework of a respected university deserves huge applause for those responsible for it. Praise where praise is due, even if I am about to critique it."
As others and I have mentioned, ATTRIBUTION would resolve any issues since it would not put anything from any demography source in wikipedia's voice. All sources should be attributed since none are the last word on religious demography.Ramos1990 (talk) 05:30, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Yes on World Religion Database with a caveat. In my own examination of the database, I think the detail is beyond belief and I think they fail the Accurate part of CRAAP (https://guides.library.illinoisstate.edu/evaluating/craap) in that they (a) fail to list their sources or describe how they got their numbers in at least a few cases (e.g., North Korea), (b) they are precise to single digits in cases where that is extremely unlikely to be accurate (again North Korea), (c) they don't give error bars. I also noted very few peer reviewed articles that use the data outside of Christian mission related articles. The caveat, no scholar has taken them to task in a public take down. I note that Johnson and Grim are aware of the issues of getting accurate data; it just isn't reflected in the data. If it is determined that World Religion Database is a 'reliable' enough source, I strongly suggest an article on it so readers can make their own evaluations. However, I think it is better to say we lack information on religious demographics rather than use what might not be good. On ARDA, it is a database repository and each database within it must be evaluated on its own merits; ARDA itself is not a source and explicitly says the actual source should be cited. --Erp (talk) 06:37, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The CRAAP test is really relevant. I think something similar, or the CRAAP itself, should be adopted as part of the WP:RS policy. Æo (talk) 18:45, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No As already mentioned by a few here, Brill is an academic publisher for these databases : see [16] and [17] and do not look partisan as is claimed in the RFC since their databases extensively use empirical data from secular sources like general censuses, polls, surveys in addition to the field records which are quite unique (see for example [18]). On top of the that, the "criticism" sources mentioned in the RFC as "authoritative critical assessments" are overall constructive criticisms that are friendly to these databases to the point that yes, they either show eagerness to use these databases themselves or give praise to it despite any quibbles. The Hsu 2008 paper clearly states positive vibes "We test the reliability of the WCD by comparing its religious composition estimates to four other data sources (World Values Survey, Pew Global Assessment Project, CIA World Factbook, and the U.S. Department of State), finding that estimates are highly correlated." and also "Religious composition estimates in the WCD are generally plausible and consistent with other data sets." This should not be ignored since that supposed "criticism" paper clearly shows the opposite of the RFC. Like others have mentioned, attribution would be a good practice when using demographic data from any source since no one source is the authority in religion demographics either way. Wareon (talk) 16:45, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    They do not use census data. That description is misleading. Compare ARDA/WRD Australia to Australia 2021 Census; ARDA/WRD Canada to Canada 2021 Census; ARDA/WRD Switzerland to Switzerland 2020 Census; ARDA/WRD Estonia to Estonia 2021 Census, and so on.
    Indeed, among the critical sources provided in the discussion above, you find, for instance, that:
    • Woodberry 2010: ...the editors seem to have constructed their estimates of religious distribution primarily from surveys of denominations and missionaries, not from censuses or representative surveys of individuals....
    • Liedhegener & Odermatt 2013, p. 9: ...a systematic bias of its data in favor of Christianity is a major, although controversial point of criticism....
    • Hsu et al. 2008, p. 684: ...Figure 1 shows that the WCD tends to overestimate percent Christian relative to the other data sets. Scatterplots show that the majority of the points lie above the y x line, indicating the WCD estimate for percent Christian within countries is generally higher than the other estimates. Although the bias is slight, it is consistent, and consequently, the WCD estimates a higher ratio of Christians in the world. ... On the other hand, the WCD likely underestimates percent Muslim in former Communist countries and countries with popular syncretistic and traditional religions....
    The WCD/WRD correlates with other datasets for statistics about certain religions but not others; in particular, there is a systematic overestimation of Christianity in every country of the world (e.g. the statistics for Estonia, where Protestants are 10% according to the national census, and 24% according to WCD/WRD projection). Æo (talk) 17:17, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    6 no's to 3 yes's. I want to know at what point will AEO accept the wiki community's decision and stop griping for his opinion to be accepted? Foorgood (talk) 21:56, 22 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No: I do not see any reason for a witch hunt. The database is used often by religionists (religionistic = scientific viewpoint on religions, reached on universities, etc) for a quick orientation and to get exact information, which is almost not possible to get elsewhere therefore it is a valuable source. Comparison with other cases on the noticeboard is improper as each case is simply different and the consensus could change over time. So, quickly looking at the case, it looks like there could be some political agenda behind the proposal, but I do not know the case in detail, nor the editor, so I could not tell. But in my opinion, religious intolerance, like other intolerances, should not have any space on Gpedia. --Dee (talk) 17:04, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    There is no "witch hunt" or "political agenda" here, certainly not from my part. The WCD/WRD, otherwise, has been proven by WP:RS to have a precise agenda. This RfC for deprecation is precisely for the sake of "exact information" and facts, which the WCD/WRD has been abundantly proven not to represent, and has been driven by past consensus and discussions. Exact information is not "...almost not possible to get elsewhere...": official censuses yield exact information on religions and other demographics for most countries. Æo (talk) 18:55, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Notice not only demographics in the database, but religion-related info as well, which is not at all available in the official censuses. Pls, check that there are trees in the forest. --Dee (talk) 19:16, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    P.S. Further evidence: compare ARDA/WRD Manx 2021 data (84.1% Christian) with 2021 Manx Census data (54.7% Christian). A 30% overestimation. Æo (talk) 19:01, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    9 nos to 3 yes's. This is exactly a witch hunt against a supposed "Christian" source yet AEO has already been told World Religion Database is not even currently affiliated with World Christian Database in any way. Does he not understand the word NO? No idea why Drmies joined this witch hunt either but it's embarrassing. Foorgood (talk) 16:20, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No but Pew-Templeton has to be treated with greater caution than I often see. Two examples from my experience, quite apart from the discussion above: editors seeking statistics use figures for 2020 without noting (or maybe knowing) that they're old projections. Their methodology tends to minimise irreligious numbers, which I do see as in accordance with an aim to emphasise that religion is compatible with science and the modern world. If deprecation was a milder term in Gpedia, I would say yes. NebY (talk) 20:42, 27 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • No. These databases are used by researchers in politics, sociology and demography. Brill is known as a reliable publisher and ARDA seems to be a usable resource and does have many academics from numerous institutions running it. From wikipedia policy, I see no issues on it a reliable source and I don't see why it would be seen as problematic. Just attribute like another editor has mentioned.--عبد المسيح (talk) 10:53, 30 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: The Economist

What best describes The Economist's news coverage of transgender topics?

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated

gnu57 13:35, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Addition:
  • Option X: This RfC is not presented in such a manner as to encourage informed discussion, and should be closed procedurally.
-- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 13:57, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Further down, you say that the RFC question should contain arguments against option 1 (Any RfC on this question should contain, at a minimum, a summary of reasons people have objected to the use of The Economist on trans topics). That would violate WP:RFCNEUTRAL and WP:RFCST, and is in no way a reason to close anything procedurally. The RFC was indeed started somewhat prematurely, but it'll stay open for weeks/a month or so, giving both sides plenty of time to offer new evience. DFlhb (talk) 19:42, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Note: An editor has expressed a concern that editors have been canvassed to this discussion. (diff)

Discussion (The Economist)

Instances where the factual accuracy of covetage of transgender issues in reporting by The Economist include this discusion. Newimpartial (talk) 19:40, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This seems to be trying to get a simple answer to a complex question. Reliability on a single issue (such as transgender) is not necessarily determined at editorial level, and could be down to the columnist. Transgender issues vary over social, legal and medical matters. We already have WP:MEDRS which does not regard the popular press as reliable sources for biomedical information, so to the extent that a transgender issue is biomedical, it shouldn't be used. The anonymity of articles in the Economist is a problem wrt judging the reliability of the author. -- Colin°Talk 14:14, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bias is not an issue. Slatersteven (talk) 15:25, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Option 1. The Economist is well-regarded as a reliable source. No evidence has been provided that it is not.Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:53, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. This is clear. I mean no disrespect to OP but it would be great to close at least two of these RfCs that are bound to be uncontested and are taking up quite a bit of space for the same discussion to happen three times. Pyrrho the Skipper (talk) 19:21, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. Obvious and established. Andre🚐 19:33, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2 - as I noted for the two broadsheets listed below, the OP appears to have presented these filings devoid of context or Talk notifications in order to achieve quick SNOW endorsements that they can use as a cudgel in Talk discussions. Editors familiar with the coverage of trans topics by these three outlets are aware of the ways all three have placed their news coverage in the service of political campaigns to limit or reverse trans rights. This is most certainly a case where additional considerations apply. Newimpartial (talk) 19:40, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Various editors in this discussion have apparently !voted on the RfC question without examining any evidence beyond their own perceptions of The Economist as a reliable source in general [20] [21] [22]
    This in spite of documentation that The Economist as having published "anti-trans screeds",[23] and has mischaracterised their own articles to discuss the "sterilisation" of trans people[24] on social media.
    A "gender critical" editorial line was pursued under the leadership of Helen Joyce, as has been documented in (RSN-green source) the Daily Dot in 2019. Outside of her work at The Economist, Joyce continued to pursue this approach in her controversial[25] book Trans, written while working for The Economist,[26], and that she now follows (while on leave from The Economist) as director of advocacy for sex matters, a group campaigning to protect the expression of "gender-critical" views.[27]
    Some editors have argued that bias is not an issue in source reliability.[28] However, the main point made in the policy section on WP:BIASEDSOURCES is that Sometimes non-neutral sources are the best possible sources for supporting information about the different viewpoints held on a subject. I am not in any way disputing that The Economist is a reliable source for its own "gender critical" opinions on contemporary issues, but the concerns I am raising have nothing to do with the reliability of the magazine's coverage arise when it is elaborating its own "viewpoint" - they are all about claims made in avowedly factual news coverage. The assertion that because The Economist is generally respected for its factual coverage in other areas, that therefore this also applies to its coverage of transgender topics, seems to assume the conclusion that this filing is intended to assess.
    Some editors have argued that the issues identified by RS about coverage of transgender issues are confined to editorials, headlines, or statements attributed to sources. I have therefore come up with four examples to discuss, of claims that could be made (or have actually been proposed in WP article text; two of each). These claims refer only to statements made recently (2021-22) in the editorial voice of The Economist in news articles (only).
    The purpose of these examples is to evaluate whether or not The Economist is reliable for the statements in question and also whether or not it may be expressing the view of a WP:FRINGE minority that is not typically WP:DUE for inclusion in WP articles. If one or both of these problems exist in these instances, I think it should be clear that a policy-based close of this filing cannot conclude that the magazine is generally reliable for its coverage of transgender topics (as the filer, who has advocate its use in one of the cases I am using as an example, had presumably hoped[29]), but rather that additional considerations apply.
Is The Economist a reliable source for the statement that trans ideology Is distorting US medical education?
  • Is The Economist a reliable source for the factual claim that trans ideology is distorting US medical education? The magazine has most recently made this assertion
    here (trans ideology is distorting the education of America's doctors, as a headline, based on It suggested that gender-identity ideology, which holds that transgender women are women and trans men are men, had influenced some of those who were training her to be a doctor and How has trans ideology made its way into medical schools? unattributed in article text). By contrast, the consensus of experts is that "trans ideology/gender ideology" does not really exist, and is a conspiracy theory or trope of anti-trans rhetoric.[30] [31]
    [32] [33] [34] Meanwhile, quality sources about medical education in the US do not document any controversy about transgender topics, much less any incursion of "trans ideology" [35] [36] [37]
    While I was unable to locate other potentially reliable sources supporting The Economist's claims about encroachment by "trans ideology", the statement is supported by other voices such as
    Barri Weiss's substack WP:FRINGE anti-trans lobbyists GENSPECT [38], evangelical group focus on the family and Catholic publication America Magazine.[39]]
    So is The Economist a reliable source for the assertion that "gender ideology"/"trans ideology" actually exists in the US? I would say, no. Is The Economist a reliable source doe the assertion that "trans ideology" is distorting US medical education? I would also say, no. And I don't see the merit in a WP:FALSEBALANCE presentation that would say, e.g., "The Economist, Genspect and America Magazine state that gender ideology is distorting US medical education, but other experts disagree". This seems pretty clearly to represent a WP:FRINGE claim. It seems clear also that coverage in The Economist is unlikely to make this issue WP:DUE for inclusion in article text.
Is The Economist a reliable source for the statement that the Biden administration has embraced gender ideology?
  • Is The Economist a reliable source for the factual claim that the Biden administration has embraced gender ideology? The magazine made this assertion in 2021 (Lawmakers in these mostly conservative states are pushing back against the Biden administration’s embrace of gender ideology, again unattributed in article text). This full-throated endorsement that the Biden administration has embraced "gender ideology" flies against the face of the established view - documented in my first example - that "gender ideology" is a conspiracy theory or rhetorical tropes. Other sources described the Biden administration initiatives as guidance seeking to protect transgender students or rules to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity.
    Again, while I was unable to identify potentially reliable sources to corroborate the Binden administration's embrace of "gender ideology", related claims were supported by The Heritage Foundation The Christian Institute, Catholic World Report and the (RSN-yellow labelled) Washington Times.
    Do is The Economist a reliable source that the Biden administration has "embraced gender ideology"? I would say, no. Would it be appropriate to say that "The Biden administration has been described as endorsing gender ideology, according to The Economist, the Washington Times, Catholic World Report and The Heritage Foundation, but other sources do not agree"? I don't think so - again, this seems like a WP:FRINGE characterization, not supported by reliable sources and not WP:DUE for WP article space.
Is The Economist reliable for its coverage of the launch of the 8th edition WPATH guidelines?
  • This is the actual proposed use of The Economist[40] that resulted in this filing. [41] The Economist article in question states that the public launch of the latest standards of care by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (wpath) on September 15th was a mess and that WPATH refers to a website which hosts stories about castrating boys against their will. Now I have no idea whether the latter statement is true or not, but it is not backed up by any of the other sources (e.g., The Times, The Telegraph) discussing the site in question. The former statement that "the public launch ... was a mess" may also be supportable, but given that - apart from a brief comment from the publisher - The Economist only included reactions by gender-crtitical figures associated with WP:FRINGE groups Genspect and the Society for Evidence-Based Gender Medicine, the reliability of this assessment seems questionable at best.
    The proposed use of The Economist here was, along with The Telegraph and The Times, to insist that space within the article on WPATH's standards over time include this 2022 controversy in somewhat lurid terms. (Note that the proposed arricle text is not supported in detail by The Economist's article text, but I digress.)
Is The Economist reliable for its characterisation of a third party interview of Marci Bowers by Abigail Shrier?
  • This is the proposed use of The Economist that I linked in the "Context" section, above. The interview in question was carried out by minor "gender critical" celebrity Abigail Shrier and was initially published on Barry Weiss's substack [42] before the article in The Economist here. Although the characterization of her remarks was subsequently disputed by the interview subject here, editors have nevertheless argued that The Economist's characterisation reliable for its characterisation of the interview should be considered reliable[43] and that it is WP:DUE for inclusion based on The Economist and a Medscape news bulletin? And does The Economist 's publication of the article make it WP:DUE for inclusion in the WP article for which it is proposed - given that no other WP:RS have picked up the story? (The dubious exceptions being the news feeds of WebMD and Medscape, and RSN Yellow-labelled National Review). While ignored by high-quality sources, the interview was picked up by WP:FRINGE contributor Genspect and an RSOPINION piece from Canada.
  • Given these four examples, it seems clear to me that the policy-compliant conckusion is that additional considerations apply, given the repeated statements The Economist makes in its news coverage, in its own voice, that align with a tiny minority of FRINGE sources rather than the overwhelming WP:WEIGHT of mainstream and high-quality sources. A decision that The Economist is "generally reliable on transgender topics" would only be a red flag to POV editors to introduce poorly-sourced and UNDUE content to articles in the GENSEX WP:ACDS topic area, and to encourage WP:FALSEBALANCE article text in which the talking points The Economist shares only with FRINGE publications would be presented as an alternative reality alongside the consensus reality documented in the bulk of reliable sources. Newimpartial (talk) 22:02, 13 November 2022 (UTC) corrections by Newimpartial (talk) 02:44, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Your first two examples are based on The Economist's use of the term "trans ideology/gender ideology". You state that there is a consensus that this does not exist. If it doesn't exist, there can be no reliable source saying that it influences anything. However, this is a challenge to the use of a term. Instead of/in addition to challenging the term, we should look at the things that it is said to consist of... according to the second Economist article, this is: "the Biden administration’s embrace of gender ideology, which holds that trans people should be recognised as the sex with which they identify". So, the question changes from "Is The Economist a reliable source for the statement that the Biden administration has embraced gender ideology?" to "Is The Economist a reliable source for the statement that the Biden administration has embraced the idea that trans people should be recognised as the sex with which they identify?" EddieHugh (talk) 23:25, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I agree that The Economist could be used as a source for the latter statement, along with other more mainstream sources. But that wasn't my question. One characteristic of editors sympathetic to "gender-critical" positions in the GENSEX area is their insistence that the language of WP:BIASEDSOURCES be retained in WP article text. As noted in my response to VickKiang below, one of the additional considerations I would like to see noted in the close is that the fact that The Economist often includes highly partisan language in its coverage of trans issues, language which should not be regarded as factual or presented in wikivoice. Your paraphrase here sidesteps what I regard as a critical concern. Newimpartial (talk) 01:01, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It's not my paraphrase; it's quoting The Economist. I generally oppose labelling when we can describe, but it's very popular here... I wouldn't advocate using "gender ideology" merely because a reliable source uses it, but I also wouldn't oppose using a description of (part of) the same thing from a reliable source. For me, the fact that a source uses both a label and a description doesn't make it unreliable. As editors, we can use judgement in deciding what from a reliable source is best to use, for the benefit of readers. EddieHugh (talk) 18:21, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Typically in the GENSEX area editors insist that the "facts", the "labels", the "opinions" and the salience of inclusions are all based on the sources used. What I am saying is that in cases where The Economist includes facts, labels and opinions that may correspond to those used in FRINGE sources but are not found in other reliable sources, that these should not be regarded as salient (and in the case of labels, that they should not be employed in wikivoice). Newimpartial (talk) 18:29, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The third one: they quote people from the two groups that you mention, and the head of the drafting committee: "This is a professional organisation of people who all adhere to the Hippocratic oath." The article might not be 100% balanced, but what is factually inaccurate? The proposed use that you link to is: "Should the article mention the controversy over the Eunuch chapter in SOC8?" Exactly what that proposes isn't clear to me. The article contains only two sentences that are specifically about a eunuch chapter... is anything in them incorrect? They describe it as "the most controversial chapter", which looks like opinion, so would have to be attributed if used; the quotation can be checked; leaving the website claim. EddieHugh (talk) 23:46, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I specified, The Economist specifies in its own voice, as an unattributed, factual statement, that the public launch ... was a mess. With a publication that is regarded as generally reliable for transgender topics, we would take this judgement at face value. Can we, for The Economist, particularly given their selection of voices used to support this characterisation? With a generally reliable source, we would assume that the content of those sentences about the Eunuch chapter (the topic the WPATH page editors were aiming to include) is factually accurate, but is it safe to assume that concerning statements of fact that are not made in other WP:RS? The assumption that The Economist must be reliable on these topics because it is reliable on non-trans related topics seems to me to be circular and unconvincing, given the well-established biases of the source. Newimpartial (talk) 01:09, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Is describing something as "a mess" a statement about facts? It's an opinion, which is immediately followed by an explanation: "they originally included a list of minimum ages for treatments—14 for cross-sex hormones, 15 for removal of breasts, 17 for testicles. Hours later, a 'correction' eliminated the age limits. The head of the drafting committee, Eli Coleman, said the publisher went ahead 'without approval' before final changes were made." That's a statement about facts. Is it inaccurate? EddieHugh (talk) 18:21, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
As I noted above, typically in the GENSEX area editors insist that the "facts", the "labels", the "opinions" and the salience of inclusions are all based on the sources used. What I am saying is that in cases where The Economist includes facts, labels and opinions that may correspond to those used in FRINGE sources but not in other reliable sources, that these should not be regarded as salient (and in the case of labels, that they should not be employed in wikivoice). This is the nature of the "additional considerations" I would like to see noted in the close. Newimpartial (talk) 18:31, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Perhaps we should instead reconsider if the other sources are actually FRINGE? Sorry, this really does come across as trying to argue to a conclusion that is preferred vs following the sources. Springee (talk) 21:23, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That's a good idea. See below. Newimpartial (talk) 22:12, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thomas Johnson, the lead author of the eunuch chapter, also recently co-authored this journal article about the Eunuch Archive website. Table 1 ("Various forms of voluntary and involuntary genital ablations in the top 100 Eunuch Archive stories") confirms the Economist's claim that the site hosts stories about castrating boys against their will. gnu57 02:22, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm afraid I don't have access to the journal article in question: what is the passage that supports stories about castrating boys against their will? Or course, if the scholarly source does confirm this, WP:V is satisfied without consulting The Economist... Newimpartial (talk) 02:36, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: It's a table, so there's no directly quotable passage, but Table 1 says that 34/100 of the top stories on the website contain "involuntary ablations" of minors where "ablation" refers to any kind of genital removal. In terms of specifically castration (orchiectomy), 24/100 of the top stories on the website include an involuntary castration of a minor. The reason why one might wish to use The Economist over that journal article is because The Economist is a secondary source, while that journal article is a primary source written by someone involved with the guidelines. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:48, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
While I'm not going to pose as an expert in sadomasochistic erotica, it is precisely the move from the table's involuntary to The Economist's against their will that I am questioning here. And given that no other sources appear to back up the interpretation offered by The Economist, we have reason to doubt that the journalist's expertise in this area is any stronger than mine. So I actually think this remains an excellent example of a case where we should not simply defer to the magazine's overall reputation in assessing it as a source. Newimpartial (talk) 18:56, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: Nobody is expecting you to be an expert in sadomasochistic erotica, but it's generally expected that editors on Gpedia will know basic linguistic concepts such as the idea of a synonym. Here is a link to a dictionary that defines "involuntary" as an adjective meaning Acting or done without or against one's will. [44] The Economist using words you do not understand does not make it an unreliable source. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:18, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
My understanding is that in this context the terms are not necessarily synonyms. To use an analogy: compulsory military service is "involuntary", but being press-ganged is "against one's will". Please do not condescend to me with phrases like using words you do not understand when I am trying to have a WP:CIVIL discussion about specific meanings; I find it unhelpful. Newimpartial (talk) 21:34, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: Your understanding of the English language should be cited to reliable sources. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 22:23, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, I don't think so. I am a linguistic pragmatist, with the result that I don't find appeals to dictionaries especially helpful. Newimpartial (talk) 22:28, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: By that logic, I can easily get any source rated as unreliable at RSN by redefining words in my own head so that the source is now wrong. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:36, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But redefining words in my own head is pretty much the opposite of linguistic pragmatism. What we do is pay attention to how words are used in specific contexts, and there can be a significant semantic difference between "involuntarily" and "against one's will" - in spite of what some dictionaries might say. Newimpartial (talk) 21:14, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most of these arguments rely on: "well, The Economist covered this, but some other outlets didn't"; which is a fantastic argument for not downgrading The Economist's reliability so all credible arguments can be represented fairly. The Economist typically extensively quotes subject-matter experts in their trans coverage, and I find all these articles credible; though obviously we can all disagree with credible articles and have our own perspectives.
  • Your source for "anti-trans screed" comments on an op-ed.
  • You link to a Daily Dot article about Helen Joyce; I already debunked that she has anything to do with the Economist's trans coverage. Again, she was a Finance editor. And her book had nothing to do with the Economist.
Now onto the sources:
  1. The Economist argues that gender ideology has distorted U.S. medical education, to the detriment of patients, including trans people. They present several arguments, good evidence, quotes from students and doctors (including trans doctors) who agreed, and criticizes dehumanizing language in textbooks. I see no bias or factual inaccuracies. The fact that you disagree with them doesn't make them fringe. Of the so-called experts you point to, who argue that "gender ideology" is a myth, most of them self-describe as activists, and none of them are medical experts who would be qualified to discuss what the Economist is talking about. It kind of proves the Economist's point, and to me, shows why it must not be downgraded so that all credible viewpoints can be correctly represented on Gpedia. I don't see the piece as biased at all; it makes its case well.
  2. Here again, the argument relies on "gender ideology" being a conspiracy theory, when the Economist is talking about concrete policy steps. It's a purely semantic argument, with its critics taking it to mean something different than what The Economist uses it for. The argument that medicine has become politicized is a perfectly valid one; not a biased one.
  3. I see nothing wrong with the piece on the Eunuch passage; it seems perfectly factually accurate. The groups you call fringe are correctly described as advocacy groups by The Economist; and they include the WPATH's response, which seems fair.
  4. I'm not considering whether it's due; merely whether it's factually accurate and non-ideologically biased. Marci Bowers's response did not pointed to clear inaccuracies or bias; yes, her comments were truncated, but that's universal to every single newspaper interview. In this case, it didn't seem like cherry-picking. I see zero issues here.
I find it hard to conclude that the Economist should be categorized as biased, without us also needing to categorize practically all LGBT-focused sources as biased (since many of their writers, again, self-describe as activists). I think that would be highly unwise, and would make for worse coverage in trans article, and would support the status quo here. Moreover, since the Economist's pieces are well-researched and argued, I think a downgrade would be highly detrimental to our coverage on trans topics, and would lead to widespread WP:NPOV violations. That doesn't mean we must only use The Economist! But trying to downgrade it to avoid these necessary talk page discussions would be inappropriate. DFlhb (talk) 01:00, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
DFlhb, why do you regard this Adcocate piece as an op-ed?
Also, your claim to have debunked that (Joyce) has anything to do with the Economist's trans coverage is flatly contradicted by the Daily Dot RS, which links a number of articles published under her byline. Perhaps you might read that one again, with less implicit confidence in your own prior assumptions?
Concerning your other claims:
1. Are you claiming that "gender ideology" actually exists, and is shown in RS to do so? Your comment here appears to reverse Gpedia's WP:RS hierarchy that puts peer-reviewed publications and experts ahead of general and self-published sources.
2. Once again, you are siding with The Economist against the great bulk of scholarly and high-quality sources.
3. If you think an aricle that presents 80% of the response to the WPATH through the perspective of WP:FRINGE anti-trans advocacy groups is fair - well, I have to question your judgement about that one. The perspective of mainstream transgender health practitioners is entirely left out in The Economist's reporting.
4. If it didn't seem like cherry-picking to you, but it did seem that way to the interview subject, why should we take your opinion over that of the interview subject?
Finally, your claim that the Economist's pieces are well-researched and argued when they largely ignore the scholarly and professional consensus around transgender healthcare while amplifying the views of FRINGE cranks like Genspect and SEGM - well, I remain unconvinced of that one. The position that Gpedia needs to platform FRINGE views to prevent widespread WP:NPOV violations does not meet with widespread community support, to the best of my knowledge. Newimpartial (talk) 01:32, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Advocate piece is news, but comments on an op-ed (labelled "By Invitation").
For the Daily Dot, that's precisely what I debunked. Not a single one of the articles were published under her byline. She wrote a fluff piece to conclude a series of op-eds (all "Open Future" articles are opinion pieces by contributing writers), all of which were written by others.
  1. I'd agree if the scholars argued the same point as The Economist; but they merely argue that it's a harmful term (very reasonable argument); The Economist only uses it in the headline, but the article body is detailed about specific problems documented by medical students and doctors (I restate, including a trans doctor), and doesn't feel cherry-picked. Scholarly pieces on terminology have zero bearing on whether the Economist's arguments there are biased or misleading.
  2. Same comment; there is no conflict between scholarly sources & The Economist, since the former aren't addressing what the latter is talking about.
  3. That article's claims (that critics worry about the minimum age limit, overmedicalization, and reversibility) are factual, and I believe those criticisms are fringe within the broader medical community (though we may disagree with these views ourselves).
  4. The interviewee restates her concerns over puberty blockers in her 'correction', far from walking them back; from my reading, it seemed like she made controversial statements, which she was presumably attacked for on social media, and was trying to lay the blame on the Economist, but I don't think that she ever repudiated the controversial things she said, which she confirmed she still believed. It seemed more like damage control. Indeed, Marci Bowers is still criticized in the trans community for those statements.
Cheers DFlhb (talk) 02:03, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Concerning Joyce, your description of her conclusion as a fluff piece completely understate s her role (and undermines her agency) in making the series happen in the first place. Also, I am getting tired of your false or partial statements:
1. The Economist only uses the concept of trans ideology in the headline - no, it is used twice in the article text, as I documented above.
2. there is no conflict between scholarly sources & The Economist, since the former aren't addressing what the latter is talking about. What is the difference between the "gender ideology" that The Economist presents as real and the "gender ideology" the RS describe as not being real?
3. Presumably you don't believe those criticisms are fringe within the broader medical community, but why? I found no non-FRINGE sources for any of them.
4. It seemed more like damage control - you never answered my question about why your interpretation is more credible than that of the interview subject; all you did was elaborate on your interpretation. Newimpartial (talk) 02:22, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, I meant to point out that your description of James Cantor and other Genspect devotees as subject-matter experts strikes me as hilarious, clueless and contemptible all at once. Newimpartial (talk) 03:38, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I expected you'd misread my comment or place words in my mouth (sadly far from the first time). I was referring to the fact they quote doctors (unaffiliated with any partisan group) in practically every piece of coverage; they are subject matter experts, not Genspect or Cantor. DFlhb (talk) 03:55, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is actually more typical of The Economist to quote doctors who are affiliated with a FRINGE geoup (which is presumably how the magazine finds them) without noting their partisan affiliation - as in the example I gave earlier. Newimpartial (talk) 04:04, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: As elaborated below I find these evidence to be weak at best:
Extended content
A "gender critical" editorial line was pursued under the leadership of Helen Joyce, as has been documented in (RSN-green source) the Daily Dot in 2019. Outside of her work at The Economist, Joyce continued to pursue this approach in her controversial[38] book Trans, written while working for The Economist,[39], and that she now follows (while on leave from The Economist) as director of advocacy for sex matters, a group campaigning to protect the expression of "gender-critical" views.[40] Similarly to Loki you keep reiterating the publication of the book, which is not directly published by The Economist and is irrelevant to the news section. I have yet seen anyone linking to any article from Joyce that is obviously problematic. Moreover, a Tweet, similar to a YouTube video, does not fall under a news article, which is the scope of the RfC here: What best describes The Economist's news coverage of transgender topics?
Unless I am misreading the text, the line (trans ideology is distorting the education of America's doctors is only mentioned in the headline, which as per WP:HEADLINE is unreliable. It is then paraphrased but then attributed from a lecturer: When a lecturer told her that gender dysphoria is not a mental illness. It suggested..., the second time that is paraphrased while attributed to Katherine. Unless I am misreading the article, your first evidence is unconvincing. The first piece has some social-related claims but also other medical ones falling under WP:MEDRS.
In the second example you state Again, while I was unable to identify potentially reliable sources to corroborate the [Biden] administration's embrace of "gender ideology". You list two WP:RS sources, but they do not seem to disprove The Economist as invalid. This seems to be a WP:DUE concern whether than a WP:RS concern. Just because other sources did not cover it does not denote that The Economist is unreliable, contrarily, it implies that the article by The Economist is WP:UNDUE and WP:BIASED in this case, thus should not be included in our articles. However, I've yet to see you provide any credible sources or fact-checks disproving the claim as misleading.
In the third example, you admit that Now I have no idea whether the latter statement is true or not, but it is not backed up by any of the other sources (e.g., The Times, The Telegraph) discussing the site in question, thus even you are unsure if it fails reliability. You iterate that you did not manage to find other sources discussing this but that is a weak claim for unreliability. Similarly to mentioned above, given that you did not provide scholarly sources directly contradicting the coverage by The Economist, I'm unconvinced here as well. Citing WP:FRINGE but not downright WP:QS sources is a further testimony of WP:BIASED and WP:UNDUE but I don't see reliability being a concern.
Similarly, in the fourth example you state The dubious exceptions being the news feeds of WebMD and Medscape, and RSN Yellow-labelled National Review). While ignored by high-quality sources, the interview was picked up by mostly WP:FRINGE contributor Genspect and an RSOPINION piece from Canada. Similar coverage from other WP:BIASED and marginally reliable sourcing seem to suggest this piece is WP:UNDUE as well, and I would caution it being included in the article. Notwithstanding, I still do not see multiple WP:RS directly contradicting any claims made by The Economist as invalid.
If one or both of these problems exist in these instances, I think it should be clear that a policy-based close of this filing cannot conclude that the magazine is generally reliable for its coverage of transgender topics (as the filer, who has advocate its use in one of the cases I am using as an example, had presumably hoped[42]), but rather that additional considerations apply. The Economist would have published less articles in contrast to The Times on The Telegraph, but still likely has hundreds of pieces. Stating that a couple of cases are WP:FRINGE does not equate to marginal reliability. Moreover, I think it should be clear that a policy-based close of this filing cannot conclude that the magazine is generally reliable for its coverage of transgender topics (as the filer)- I currently see the discussion split between Option 1 and X. Some of the votes might be slightly weaker on one side but that is insufficient to turn the result to Option 2/3/X.
To sum it up you state Given these four examples, it seems clear to me that the policy-compliant conckusion is that additional considerations apply, given the repeated statements The Economist makes in its news coverage, in its own voice, that align with a tiny minority of FRINGE sources rather than the overwhelming WP:WEIGHT of mainstream and high-quality sources. I disagree, I don't see that the WP:RS guideline a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy is violated to downgrade to marginally reliable. Not all sources that cite WP:FRINGE ones are regarded as marginally reliable or unreliable, to list an example Jacobin cited unreliable/fringe sources but is generally reliable with caveats. That is a different case of course but I don't see which policy-compliant conclusion is shown.
In my opinion your four pieces successfully raise WP:BIASED and WP:DUE concerns and is significantly better than the articles LokiTheLiar raised, but I don't see significant challenges to reliability here, I do not see that those disprove a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy to downgrade it to marginally reliable.
To ping a few users who've supported or refuted similar evidences in this RfC: LokiTheLiar, DFlhb and Red-tailed hawk, would you agree or disagree with this assessment? Thanks. VickKiang (talk) 00:02, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

:::@Newimpartial: And P.S. you accuse me of perceiving The Economist in general but seem to ignore totally that I have refuted the so-called evidence you and Loki provided. VickKiang (talk) 00:20, 14 November 2022 (UTC) Strike comment per comments and objection below.Reply[reply]

Please don't over-interpret my diffs; I only made reference to your original !vote which, as far as I can tell, was made before you had examined any of the context for this filing.
As far as your claim to have refuted the so-called evidence I provided, I don't believe you to have done so; see below. On the other hand, your subjective belief that you have done so suggests a WP:BATTLEGROUND mentality and may also explain why you seem to have misconstrued both my intention in presenting the evidence and some of the evidence itself. Newimpartial (talk) 00:55, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have striked my comment, which might be confrontational in your opinion, but I don't believe I have violated BATTLEGROUND, NPA, CANVASS... otherwise. Your comment is inaccurate as I've commented at the LBC News and read the discussion, please don't draw such sweeping conclusions next time to other editors and I as well. Not saying that you are implying this, but just because I commented promptly doesn't mean I am ignoring the context (again, not suggesting that you mean this, just a side observation). If you have other concerns with my conduct feel free to bring it to another venue (not implying that you have so, so not WP:STRAWMAN at all). Nevertheless, thanks still for the note. VickKiang (talk) 10:05, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And side note: Once again apologies for the wording. While that refute is similar to the wording used at WP:NEGOTIATE and was not meant to be "defeat" or "won"... I apologise if the confrontational wording rendered in your intrepretations. Thanks. VickKiang (talk) 20:27, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To begin with, I don't want to be dragged into a Helen Joyce rabbit-hole, but there is plenty of expert sourcing about The Economist's publications on trans issues prior to 2020 that makes both her biases, and the continuity with her subsequent non-Economist publications and advocacy, quite clear.
Concerning the medical education aricle, I will correct my statement above, but the relevant passages from the article body incude It suggested that gender-identity ideology, which holds that transgender women are women and trans men are men, had influenced some of those who were training her to be a doctor and How has trans ideology made its way into medical schools? - still unattributed statements in the voice of The Economist. In spite of your claims, neither of these statements are attributed to the lecturer.
If the proposed use of The Economist in this instance were "one medical student suspected that gender ideology had distorted her medical education", I would agree that the magazine would be reliable for that statement, but that was not the question, it was Is The Economist a reliable source for the statement that trans ideology Is distorting US medical education? I do not see how this question could be answered in the affirmative.
Similarly, my second question was Is The Economist a reliable source for the statement that the Biden administration has embraced gender ideology? This is a factual question which demands a yes or no answer: either "gender ideology" is real or it isn't, and if real either the Biden administration has embraced it or it hasn't. VickKiang, I simply don't understand how you can in good conscience duck this key question, on which The Economist lines up with the FRINGE sources against mainstream sources, and then conclude that the claim is BIASED but with no prejudice against the reliability of the source.
On the third issue, my point was that we have a specific characterisation that is made in The Economist alone. My question is whether the source can be regarded as reliable for the claim, and onxe again you dodge the question with reference to DUE. If your point is that, when The Economist relies on FRINGE spokespeople and is the only periodical publishing a characterisation, that it is unlikely for that characterisation to be DUE, then in fact you are supporting what I mean when I say that additional considerations apply. Those seekinf to rubberstamp the prior assumption that The Econimist is "generally reliable on transgender topics" are precisely seeking to ensure that content sourced only to it and similar WP:BIASEDSOURCES is considered DUE and presented as fact in wikivoice- as I have documented above.
Finally, on my fourth example, if you do not see the interview subject's own disavowal of the published coverage of the interview as directly contradicting any claims made by The Economist then I'm afraid I don't know how to interact with you. The Economist states that "gender identity ideology" exists (in many more articles beyond the ones I discuss here), while the high-quality sources on transgender topics are clear that it does not - that seems like a rather direct contradiction.
Finally, I'm afraid you are strawmanning my argument when you say, Stating that a couple of cases are WP:FRINGE does not equate to marginal reliability - I have never been suggesting marginal reliability, I am proposing that additional considerations apply. To specify what those considerations might be, they might include the fact that The Economist often includes highly partisan language in its coverage of trans issues, language which should not be regarded as factual or presented in wikivoice, as numerous editors in the GENSEX area typically insist on doing. Another consideration is that when The Econonist choses to amplify FRINGE voices in its news reporting, this form of advocacy should not be considered as contributing to WP:DUE except where issues are picked up outside of the "gender critical" echo chamber. Inclusion of those two caveats would go most of the way to addressing the concerns I have been articulating all along, concerns that I believe the initial filing was intended to pre-empt and plow under. Newimpartial (talk) 00:47, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Option 2 can also mean marginally reliable, this is not at all a straw man. I am intrigued what do you mean by the mainstream sources. Additionally, you enjoy straw man my argument and Chess’s as well by exaggerating a single comment. Your comments state high quality sources- as in scholarly ones or the standard similar to FAA? Further, you still generalise the Joyce one as quite clear without providing examples. VickKiang (talk) 00:55, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Did my !vote specify what I meant ("additional consideractions apply"), or did I not?
Meanwhile, I don't see how linking the diff of your !vote could straw man (your) argument. I wasn't saying anything about your subsequent argument, at that point, only the logic of your initial !vote. Newimpartial (talk) 02:04, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Meanwhile, I don't see how linking the diff of your !vote could straw man (your) argument. I wasn't saying anything about your subsequent argument, at that point, only the logic of your initial !vote- in fact, I could also link your initial vote devoid of context before you completed your insightful analysis. But that is obviously unhelpful. VickKiang (talk) 02:28, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Incidentally, per WP:MREL No consensus, unclear, or additional considerations apply: The source is marginally reliable (i.e. neither generally reliable nor generally unreliable), and may be usable depending on context. "additional considerations apply" could be taken marginally reliable and may be usable depending on context. This is not a straw-man argument, but I apologise if my imprecise wording bothers you. VickKiang (talk) 02:30, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Through If your point is that, when The Economist relies on FRINGE spokespeople and is the only periodical publishing a characterisation, that it is unlikely for that characterisation to be DUE, then in fact you are supporting what I mean when I say that additional considerations apply- per WP:DUE, Neutrality requires that mainspace articles and pages fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects. That IMO it occasionally covers WP:FRINGE topics and organisations and could be sometimes (but not always) WP:UNDUE and WP:BIASED in occasional (not most) examples you gave does not mean I would like to downgrade it to additional considerations apply. If the viewpoint from The Economist is minor it might not be a significant viewpoint per DUE, of course. But I don't see how at all how I am indirectly supporting your position. VickKiang (talk) 02:57, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I understand that you are unwilling to caveat The Economist with an "additional considerations" note, but I don't really understand why. You acknowledged above that Citing WP:FRINGE but not downright WP:QS sources is a further testimony of WP:BIASED and WP:UNDUE but I don't see reliability being a concern, but the selection of sources is precisely one aspect of reliability (alongside the use of inflammatory or biased language) that I see as the relevant additional consideration. I had meant to note previously that many of those sought out for comment by The Economist are WP:QS as well as WP:FRINGE; you referred to the categories as though they were mutually exclusive, when in fact they overlap significantly. In your reply to my evidence you repeatedly noted that The Economist was sourcing statements that would not be DUE for inclusion in our articles: that is what I regard as indirectly supporting my substantive position on article content (though not my recommendation for RSN caveats). Newimpartial (talk) 03:34, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I will not be amending it here. Indeed, per my original vote I consider to be a generally mainstream, well-established magazine that occasionally is WP:UNDUE and WP:BIASED. However, you present four of the worse cases, and I agree they are WP:UNDUE and WP:BIASED in these situations. Nevertheless, I find the evidence for that it is almost always WP:BIASED or that its reputation for fact-checking and accuracy that requires a downgrade unconvincing. Besides, I consider WP:QS to be generally unreliable sources, many of the other sources you cited that report the story, e.g., Examiner, WebMD does not fall into this category. Given that you described my general viewing of the source as Various editors in this discussion have apparently !voted on the RfC question without examining any evidence beyond their own perceptions of The Economist as a reliable source in general, it is obvious that we will not come to an agreement so I will abstain from this discussion. VickKiang (talk) 04:53, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It suggested that gender-identity ideology, which holds that transgender women are women and trans men are men, had influenced some of those who were training her to be a doctor and How has trans ideology made its way into medical schools?
Just before It suggested..., The Economist states that when a lecuter told a class that gender dysphoria was not a mental illness... and previously also refers to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. I do not see this instance being in its editorial voice. This is not an example of editorial voice.
Moreover, sources that occasionally cite WP:FRINGE context are not always considered to be unreliable. E.g., on RSP, National Geographic, Science Based Medicine, and even Snopes are described as frequently covering fringe material.
Further, in the piece from I remain disappointed by the tone and intent of the article. My comments were taken out of context and used to cast doubt upon trans care, particularly the use of puberty blockers. Worse, Jazz Jennings was disrespectfully and erroneously portrayed as a puberty blockade failure, based solely upon her television portrayal. That said, the author conveyed to me that she is not against the use of puberty blockade but rather, interested in better informed consent, a principle upon which we both agreed. I did believe that my comments would be conveyed fairly. While the interviewee criticised the usage of the context, I also had a look at a related article from The New York Times quoting Bowers, though I don't see equitable criticism there.
On the fourth point, the current version of the FAQ states that Rapid Onset Gender Dysphoria is a largely discredited acronym referring to those transgender persons who appear to ‘come out of nowhere’, skeptics attributing their choice to transition as nothing more than social contagion. It is a term used by conservatives and naysayers to deny, discredit and de-legitimize transgender persons and their search for identity as being a short term, impulsive act influenced by others. However, consider an archived version early in 2021, I don't see any parts of the FAQ criticising ROGD as so. Similarly, in a September 2021 archived version at here I couldn't find info from the FAQ that contradicts The Economist's comment on ROGD. From what I see in the archives the FAQ has substantially changed from the 2021 versions to the 2022 versions. Do you have sources that demonstrate that prior to The Economist's reporting Marci had a directly contradictory view of ROGD? Thanks. VickKiang (talk) 02:52, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first issue here is becoming a bit ridiculous. It can by no means refer to the DSM, which cannot possibly have suggested that gender-identity ideology, which holds that transgender women are women and trans men are men, had influenced some of those who were training her to be a doctor. Only the content of the lecture could have done that, and this content (when a lecturer told a class that gender dysphoria was not a mental illness) is presented in neutral narrative voice - as fact - by The Economist.
Also, I don't understand what you mean by I also had a look at a related article from The New York Times quoting Bowers, though I don't see equitable criticism there - are you suggesting that the content of The Economist and the NYT on this matter are the same? Because I'm not aware of any issues using the NYT as a source on this, and I wouldn't expect the views of the interview subject to the the same concerning the two sources.
Finally, I'm afraid I'm not understanding quite what you're saying about archived versions of the FAQ. Are you suggesting that something in an old version of the FAQ confirms information presented by The Economist that became discredited by later versions of the FAQ? Because I was only referring to The Economist's interpretation of the Bowers interview, not to anything else in its article which may or may not have been up to date at the time. Newimpartial (talk) 03:13, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. The Economist is a well-established magazine that has a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy. Per Colin's excellent analysis, I acknowledge WP:DUE concerns on that editors would perceive it as a WP:BIASED source (though I personally disagree). Further, WP:MEDRS should be preferred in medical areas. However, insufficient evidence has been provided to downgrade to additional considerations apply. Rephrasing a comment above iterating exactly the same points: WP:DUE states that Neutrality requires that mainspace articles and pages fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources. I regard that most reliable sources could be WP:UNDUE in an area, and acknowledge that in many examples provided above that The Economist is very occasionally WP:UNDUE and sometimes WP:BIASED. However, due weight is a consideration required for all WP:RS sources, while The Economist could be more biased/opinionated than the median WP:GREL these are not an additional considerations IMO that falls under additional considerations apply per WP:MREL that needs to be examined on a case-to-case basis. (This is of course my personal opinion, I'll try to abstain from commenting any further otherwise.) VickKiang (talk) 20:37, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. This is a standard liberal WP:NEWSORG based in the United Kingdom. The Economist seems to be generally reliable for factual reporting of news, even in politically fraught areas. That being said, no WP:NEWSORG is WP:MEDRS, so it cannot be used to support claims relating to human biomedical information, much in the same way that we should not use the Washington Post and The Guardian for claims relating to human biomedical information. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 20:54, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Economist is deeply conservative. Are you getting their economic position (economic liberalism) confused with their political one?Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:19, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not confused here; the paper expresses both economically and socially liberal stances (and has done so throughout its existence). It is hardly a paper of deeply rooted social conservatism; the paper has supported decriminalization and legalizaion of drugs including (cocaine and psychedelics), supported same-sex marriage as early as 2004 (when six-in-ten Americans and about half of Brits opposed it), comments positively upon laws banning corporal punishment in children, supports the decriminalization of prostitution among other items. While they endorsed Bush in 2000, they've endorsed the Democratic candidate for President in every single U.S. election since John Kerry in 2004. Looking across the pond, their U.K. general election endorsements since 2001 have broken for Labour twice, the Tories twice, and the Lib Dems twice. Its editorial stance can be described as being radically centrist or classically liberal, but I'm not really sure how one could conclude that deeply conservative could plausibly apply as a descriptor for this publication's broad editorial and political position. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 16:19, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 3. One of The Economist's executives is Helen Joyce. Helen Joyce is the author of a book titled Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality, has said that trans people are "a huge problem for a sane world" and that they are all "damaged", and has advocated for preventing even adult trans people from transitioning. We know for a fact that Joyce is at least sometimes editorially responsible for their coverage of trans issues, because she was openly the emcee of this series of editorials on trans identity. Because of this (and the general problems with WP:BIASED trans coverage in British newspapers), I believe The Economist is not reliable on trans issues, as a major figure in their editorial process demonstrably holds strong fringe opinions on this matter. Loki (talk) 21:02, 11 November 2022 (UTC) See amended vote below. Loki (talk) 18:35, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality is not a book published directly by The Economist, but another book published by its executives. Could high-quality scholarly sources be provided that demonstrated Helen's reporting in news pieces is routinely inaccurate in relation to this topic? VickKiang (talk) 21:05, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I think the relevant argument is that her influence as editor had an impact on news coverage of trans issues by The Economist (the relationship between news and editorial in the UK being more like a Blood-brain barrier than a water-tight compartment). Newimpartial (talk) 21:40, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I'm aware that you are compiling a list, so please ping me on Sunday once you get multiple sources directly criticising Helen Joyce's coverage instead of an assumption currently without much evidence. Many thanks! VickKiang (talk) 22:04, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    the relationship between news and editorial in the UK being more like a Blood-brain barrier than a water-tight compartment- we are asking about What best describes The Economist's news coverage of transgender topics? Opinion pieces seem irrelevant, and contradict the consensus at WP:RSOPINION. VickKiang (talk) 22:05, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Just to note, Helen Joyce was an executive editor for The Economist’s events business (whatever that means) since March 2020, and was a finance editor before that. She's not an executive, she's currently on a sabbatical, and she had nothing to do with the article being disputed here on WPATH.
She also had nothing to do with the series of editorials on trans identity that you link to (back then, again, she was Finance editor); she just wrote an article linking to all those editorials in one place; but didn't author any of them (each of them has a byline and an identified author).
I do obviously condemn her, but I don't agree that this remotely justifies downgrading The Economist. DFlhb (talk) 21:10, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Given that she's on unpaid sabbatical, and worked in the event space, I wouldn't say she's "a major figure in their editorial process". Pyrrho the Skipper (talk) 21:10, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    After the line Helen Joyce is the Finance editor at The Economist it does indeed link to various other pieces by numerous other editors. I couldn't see evidence that those other linked pieces are inaccurate and severely misleading. Of course, Trans: When Ideology Meets Reality is a rightfully critiqued book but it's published by Oneworld Publications, Simon & Schuster per the WP page, not through The Economist. VickKiang (talk) 21:15, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment A few sources I have found on the general issue with transphobia in the British press (not necessarily the Economist specifically):
Loki (talk) 21:41, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Are you suggesting that we generally declare the press of the United Kingdom unreliable for coverage of transgender topics? — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 21:47, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Red-tailed hawk: @LokiTheLiar: As I said below almost all of those doesn't relate to the sources specifically. E.g., the CNN piece critiques The Times as According to her analysis, in 2020 the Times and the Sunday Times published “over 300 articles, almost one a day, and they were all negative.” CNN has reached out to both newspapers for comment. According to her means that it is expressing another journalist's opinion instead of the CNN editors directly criticising it. The other example lists to an essay/opinion piece as I said below. The piece you linked from Insider, a marginally reliable source for news, links to this piece, letters to the editor. Letters, commentary, and opinion pieces should be regarded per WP:RSOPINION, I don't think we should, in a RfC about What best describes The Daily Telegraph's news coverage of transgender topics, link to pages criticising their opinion/commentary coverage. VickKiang (talk) 21:53, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Red-tailed hawk: Unreliable per se, no: I'm sure there are some exceptions. But since this is clearly a systemic issue I don't see what we gain from tackling it on a paper-by-paper basis. I do think that because of the systemic problems with the UK press, we should stop assuming that UK newsorgs that are reliable generally are necessarily reliable for trans issues specifically, and instead require separate evidence of that. Loki (talk) 23:37, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@LokiTheLiar: It's certainly interesting to hear that you legitimately want to blanket ban the UK press on trans issues. Methinks we should ban the American press from covering overseas newspapers, due to the systemic issue of American newspapers thinking they are better than everyone else in the world (American exceptionalism). Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 05:30, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do you have any sources which actually talk about that being a real issue in American newspapers? If you do then of course that is something we can discuss, if it does not then don't be disruptive. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 15:23, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Horse Eye's Back: Here's several about the New York Times. [45] [46] [47] Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:47, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Those are opinion pieces, I'm asking for real sources. Horse Eye's Back (talk) 18:52, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Horse Eye's Back: Most of the sources in the original comments aren't real sources either. They're opinion pieces or interviews. Trying to declare the whole British media as being unreliable on the subject of transgender topics based on those sources is the same as what I'm doing, which is linking a bunch of opinion pieces attacking a newspaper that isn't even the subject of this discussion.
As far as I'm aware, using sarcasm on a Gpedia noticeboard is not disruptive. If it was, we'd have to block a fifth of our editors. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:31, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the whole, I think we should consider UK press as WP:MREL when it specifically comes to trans topics. Some sources are better than others, but as Loki has pointed out British media has an overall anti-trans bias that in some cases is impacting on their ability to accurately report on factual matters. Accordingly these sources should be more carefully scrutinised in this context. Sideswipe9th (talk) 22:00, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I won't do my usual breakdown here, but, similar to my detailed analysis of similar sources when it comes to the Telegraph discussion below, given my quick read of these links, I don't think they demonstrate any unreliability. DFlhb (talk) 23:20, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1: I don't see how the opinions of the events editor are relevant to editorial accuracy of the news division. The sources alleging transphobia in the British press cover accusations or of questionable quality. 2A01:4B00:9D42:6E00:A960:7681:3CB9:A529 (talk) 22:08, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. Honestly I don't see the need for this RfC and I suggest a quick WP:SNOWBALL. Gitz (talk) (contribs) 23:05, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How can WP:SNOWBALL apply when the !votes are divided? Newimpartial (talk) 00:19, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 I do think snowball applies to all three RFCs. DFlhb (talk) 23:21, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Given the !votes for Option 2 and/or Option 3 in alll three discussions, I have no idea how you feel that WP:SNOW might apply. Newimpartial (talk) 00:17, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: Separate to the question of reliability is the question of bias, which some assert, and some dismiss as constrained to op-eds. But I think option 1 supporters should more clarify whether they consider the factual reporting biased or unbiased, to avoid causing the closer any headaches, or ending up with a "factual but potentially biased" listing at WP:RSP (which covers the news, not op-eds), as that may or may not match editors' beliefs. Personally, not only have I not seen evidence that its news reporting is unreliable, none of the proof of bias given about op-eds covers the factual reporting; I've read much of said reporting myself, and it seems matter-of-fact and neutral. However I'm open to new evidence,and I'd appreciate if option 2/3 supporters to link to specific articles they feel are biased, rather than by using academic sources that are commenting on the op-eds. DFlhb (talk) 01:15, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1: If editors want to question a specific claim/article that might be valid but to suggest an otherwise well respected source is somehow not respected for just this topic? No and the evidence doesn't support any form of downgrade. Springee (talk) 04:54, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Right; I'll remind editors here that even the very most reliable oulets on Earth sometimes publish nonsense, poorly fact-checked stuff, and factual inaccuracies, and WP:RS explicitly tells us that we exercise editorial judgment every time we use a source; that sourcing is context-dependent, and that we must consider whether a source is reliable for a particular statement. If you find factual inaccuracies in an article, who cares if it's the New York Times? We shouldn't include it. WP:CONTEXTMATTERS. DFlhb (talk) 05:02, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 No evidence of unreliability, no evidence of bias. Boynamedsue (talk) 12:15, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X: Scrap RfC. This seems to be a case of someone asking a question on which they favor the status quo, without presenting any of the arguments that have been given elsewhere against the status quo, to drum up easy !votes on their side. Any RfC on this question should contain, at a minimum, a summary of reasons people have objected to the use of The Economist on trans topics. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 13:54, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Are you arguing that this RfC prompt is not neutral and brief? A simple question on the general reliability with respect to a topic, with a space below to allow for editors to discuss that, is both the standard RfC format for editors to discuss general source reliability and one that presents the question neutrally. I see no policy basis for including a summary of reasons people have objected to the use of The Economist on trans topics in the RfC prompt; that is what the discussion among editors is for. The RfC is appropriately worded, and you have ample opportunity to present the arguments against the status quo in this discussion here; we need not scrap the RfC simply because the arguments in opposition to general reliability are not among the very first arguments presented. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 14:19, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How can an RfC be neutral if it asks a controversial question with zero context? In particular, when it's a question where the argument against the status quo may not be one the average person—who knows only the source's overall positive reputation—is familiar with? Silence is not the same thing as neutrality. Think of it this way: There are respected academics who theorize that gravity is not a fundamental force. If there were an ongoing discussion on an article talkpage about whether we should cite a source that says that it isn't, and a participant then went to a noticeboard and said, with no context, "RfC: Is gravity a fundamental force?", would we see that as a proper RfC? I know I wouldn't. I would see it as an attempt to run up the score early and to sidestep an article-specific discussion of whether the given source is reliable in that context, by someone who knows that anyone asked that question out of context will say "What? Yes, of course." But maybe you have a higher tolerance for people gaming the system than I do. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 15:03, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    A simple 4-option RfC prompt itself is quite neutral. Your example of someone going to WP:FTN to ask them "is gravity a fundamental force" is perfectly fine by me; WP:FTN is explicitly made to seek advice on whether a particular topic (such as the fundamental nature of the gravitational force) is fringe or mainstream. So long as the discussion is well advertised (which, by the nature of being on a well-visited noticeboard it is), I see nothing wrong with that sort of thing and I don't see why your example (or this RfC, for that matter) is anywhere near gaming the system.
    People in this RfC, and in the two RfCs below, have been substantially discussing the claimed issues with the three sources and editors have been presenting arguments related to them. The notion that an RfC that simply asks the broader community to discuss the reliability of a source for a particular set of topics in its coverage is somehow non-neutral is frankly not well-supported. And the assumption that this is done to attempt to run up the score early or to drum up easy !votes on their side seems to be a weakly evidenced claim that the RfC creator is engaging in battleground behavior by merely asking this question to the community; I don't see their actions that way and I can't get behind that sort of sentiment at all. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 15:18, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If you feel I'm casting aspersions, you are welcome to raise the matter at the appropriate noticeboard. Gnu made a choice to start this RfC without so much as linking to the related ongoing RfC that they and I have participated in and that prompted these RfCs. I see no reason to pretend this was done for reasons other than to try to do an end-run around that discussion. The alternative would be to assume incompetence on the part of an experienced user, which personally I find more insulting than assuming intent. (And that you are, judging from your answer, generally in favor of abusing RfCs to manipulate consensus is irrelevant to the question of whether that's what's happening here.) -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 15:32, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    With respect, I do think this is the appropriate noticeboard to note the relatively weak evidence presented that the RfC creator is acting in bad faith, as that claim of bad faith (rather than a reasonable assumption of good faith) is central to the stated logic of your support for Option X. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 22:26, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Tamzin: without so much as linking to the related ongoing RfC that they and I have participated in and that prompted these RfCs -- what RfC are you referring to? ProcrastinatingReader (talk) 21:48, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @ProcrastinatingReader: Talk:Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People § RfC: Eunuchs. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 23:09, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X per Tamzin et al. ■ ∃ Madeline ⇔ ∃ Part of me ; 14:02, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 Oh no, biased op-eds! Perish the thought![48] Adoring nanny (talk) 15:26, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X In retrospect I shouldn't have said anything but "non-neutral RFC" here. The person who nominated this wants it to be declared reliable. They are WP:FORUMSHOPPING from the discussion on Talk:Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People. As such, this RFC is premature: no discussion has been had on why these sources might not be reliable on trans issues. Loki (talk) 18:35, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X no FORUMSHOPPING, please. HouseBlastertalk 18:49, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Respectfully, while I understand the "premature RFC" arguments, this isn't FORUMSHOPPING, which involves "raising essentially the same issue" on multiple talk pages. The talk page argument that this stemmed from was about the inclusion of a controversy with several WP:RS sources (a question of dueness), not about whether these three outlets are usable on trans topics; that was just one of the argument that was brought up against dueness. DFlhb (talk) 19:01, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X this is just forumshopping a content dispute in a misleading manner and there's already an RfC going on in the article in question on whether it is DUE to include the information anyways. SilverserenC 19:32, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
(This comment chain was initially added to the RFC prompt, which wasn't quite kosher. Per WP:RFCNEUTRAL, RFC prompts can't "argue" in favor of one option other others. Moving down so it can be discussed here:) DFlhb (talk) 19:51, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X: This RfC is not presented in such a manner as to encourage informed discussion, and should be closed procedurally.
-- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 13:57, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Further down, you say that the RFC question should contain arguments against option 1 (Any RfC on this question should contain, at a minimum, a summary of reasons people have objected to the use of The Economist on trans topics). That would violate WP:RFCNEUTRAL and WP:RFCST, and is in no way a reason to close anything procedurally. The RFC was indeed started somewhat prematurely, but it'll stay open for weeks/a month or so, giving both sides plenty of time to offer new evience. DFlhb (talk) 19:42, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1, no evidence of unreliability for facts has been presented. As for the claims that this RfC is forum shopping, many in these discussions have been arguing repeatedly, not just at the Standards of Care RfC but also at Talk:Mermaids (charity), Talk:LGB Alliance, and elsewhere, that these sources are actually unreliable and rejecting the consensuses documented at WP:RSP. They variously seem to expect us to take their word for it, or cite the same few op-eds and similar from 'progressive' American media complaining that British papers of record don't go all-in on their preferred policy of absolute gender self-identification. These complainants either need to stop making this disruptive argument or present a case to change the community's mind. After months they failed to do so, preferring to instead disregard RSP on individual talk pages, and so someone else started a discussion. They keep saying a discussion needs to happen, so let's have it. Crossroads -talk- 21:17, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X I agree with Tamzin that this RfC has not been presented in a way that encourages informed discussion. The context of the underlying discussions that lead to the snap creation of this RfC has been left out by the filer, which is interesting when you compare these three RfCs, with the related discussion on LBC News, also started by the filer. Uninvolved editors are being asked to ask blindly whether or not these sources are reliable in a specific context, without any information as to why they are being discussed as unreliable in that context. Sideswipe9th (talk) 21:18, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment. I would like to point out (controversially) that other editors voting Option 2/3 or Option X also expressed interest towards starting a RfC. E.g., on this very noticeboard in the LBC News section, Newimpartial stated that So far, the relevant discussuons are taking place at article Talk pages, where some of the HQ/academic sources have been presented in an ad hoc way. A number of editors have acknowleged that a noticeboard discussion will be required to amend the list entry; I would attribute my own procrastination on this to (1) my preference to treat The Times and The Telegraph together on this, so we don't see Times pickups replacing Telegraph coverage (as currently happens when either source runs with a Daily Mail story for example) and (2) my inclination to wait for the academic sourcing on this to strengthen further (as seems inevitable given recent developments in the UK), and a range of discussions at User talk:Newimpartial on the potential likelihood of taking The Times and The Telegraph to a noticeboard. Again, just an observation, I have no objectionns towards the Option X being included in the prompt though. VickKiang (talk) 21:26, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that a dual RfC on The Times and The Telegraph will be necessary, as there is sufficient evidence that demonstrates that the anti-trans editorial bias from these publications has lead to issues that call their reliability into question. However I know I am still in the preparation stages for those discussions, so at best I see this RfC as a premature filing, and at worst I see it as an outright attempt at putting editors like myself on the back foot by forcing an RfC before we are ready. Either way, this is not contributing to an informed discussion about these two sources. Sideswipe9th (talk) 21:37, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I agree that a dual RfC on The Times and The Telegraph will be necessary, as there is sufficient evidence that demonstrates that the anti-trans editorial bias from these publications has lead to issues that call their reliability into question- I disagree that we should combine two distinct sources together. and at worst I see it as an outright attempt at putting editors like myself on the back foot by forcing an RfC before we are ready- I also happen to strongly disagree that this is a WP:FORUMSHOP attempt, as per that: It does not help develop consensus to try different forums in the hope of finding one where you get the answer you want. (This is also known as "asking the other parent".) Queries placed on noticeboards and talk pages should be phrased as neutrally as possible, in order to get uninvolved and neutral additional opinions- these RfCs have only been asked at RSN, not at other locations. Moreover, it is a standard four-option choice with context additionally added, violates the neutral requirement, so I respectfully disagree. However I know I am still in the preparation stages for those discussions, so at best I see this RfC as a premature filing, and at worst I see it as an outright attempt at putting editors like myself on the back foot by forcing an RfC before we are ready- here I'm unsure if it's that you require more time gathering more evidence or that currently there is insufficient evidence yet, if the latter is true I disagree this filing is premature. Moreover, I should point out that Newimpartial stated they would provide evidence this Sunday. Thanks. VickKiang (talk) 21:48, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    I should also note for the lack of context issues- while it's better to have some context, they were added by Newimpartial quickly, and even after that there were still voters voting Option 1. Additionally, many past RfCs ending in downgrade/deprecation didn't have context, e.g., Daily Wire RfC at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 358, Daily Star at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 311, New York Post at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 312, to give a few examples. VickKiang (talk) 22:02, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Indeed, I have seen RFCs dismissed as not neutral because the initial poster added context. Blueboar (talk) 22:14, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    FWIW, as someone who said something similar, I still mean to discuss the bias of the entire UK press as a whole here at some point. The problem with RFCs on individual papers is, well, look around you. Loki (talk) 23:10, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1/2 but I think it should not be logged at WP:RSP. Otherwise, we might be giving the impression that the source is particularly reliable about this topic, rather than just generally reliably genelist press. Which can also be summarized as Option X. MarioGom (talk) 22:23, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 The Economist is a reliable source, bias in opinion pieces is the nature of opinion pieces. For news articles claiming to be about a medical issue see WP:MEDRS. -- LCU ActivelyDisinterested transmissions °co-ords° 22:58, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. A top tier source, and the fact that we need to have this discussion demonstrates why the RSN process needs to be overhauled or abandoned.
I note that editors opening an RFC are forbidden from presenting arguments for or against the status quo as part of doing so, per WP:RFCNEUTRAL. BilledMammal (talk) 04:06, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Unsuitable RfC: the dispute seems to be about the article Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People, specifically this edit: citing the Economist. This appears to be an issue of WP:DUE / UNDUE, and thus this RfC is not an appropriate way to resolve it. --K.e.coffman (talk) 06:25, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Reading the related discussion, it's quite clear that some editors party to it believe that The Times, Telegraph, and Economist are not reliable sources on the topic of trans issues, which itself is a question of reliability; the source discussion is not simply about whether or not the sources are WP:DUE. On top of that, the extent to which a source is reliable in a topic area affects the extent to which it is WP:DUE, so community discussion on The Economist will help to resolve that part of the question given that its reliability in this topic area is explicitly contested by an editor in that discussion. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 15:38, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Yes and No… IF consensus is that these sources are not reliable, THEN we can say that the content cited to them is UNDUE (because reliability is one of several factors in determining whether content DUE/UNDUE). However, if consensus is that they are reliable, we can not say that the content is DUE (because Reliability is not the only factor in determining whether content is DUE/UNDUE… we have to look at the other factors as well.)
So… while these RFCs are a necessary step in resolving the DUE dispute… they probably will not be the final step. Blueboar (talk) 17:00, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Blueboar, this is not helpful and comes across frankly as naive. I suggest you read some of the trans conflict articles and consider how a "Community consensus vote of approval: ABC is reliable for transgender topics" will be used to game the system. How do you weigh *silence? When a story is only covered in anti-trans articles, by anti-trans journalists and, in the case of the Telegraph, an extremely anti-trans newspaper. When the only coverage of an issue is extremely biased, which makes claims like saying mainstream medicine is "extreme" and arguing for mainstream health-system clinics to close down and those are the only sources. There isn't an "other side" of "reliable sources on the topic" to cite. There's just the hate side. If the Telegraph can pump out hundreds of anti-trans articles a year, what would Gpedia look like if we included them all? Because that's what approval here will encourage. -- Colin°Talk 19:56, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. No evidence has been provided of false reporting by this highly reputable source. 𝕱𝖎𝖈𝖆𝖎𝖆 (talk) 08:04, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. It is and has always been a reputable source. (Imagine if the reliability of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Financial Times,The Spectator, and every highly regarded newspaper and magazine everywhere were to be questioned here because they had a controversial editor or author on board, or had published an article or opinion considered controversial!) Pyxis Solitary (yak). L not Q. 12:06, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 Yes, this is a reputable source, reliable for facts, and no evidence suggests it would not be reputable for a specific topic. --Molochmeditates (talk) 05:12, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 Clearly a reliable source. The arguments presented above that it is not a reliable source on these topics are unpersuasive and misdirected, and the arguments that this RFC is procedurally improper are misconceived. This should be closed as WP:SNOW. The same rationale applies to the other two sources. Banks Irk (talk) 19:02, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Did you read the analysis I provided, or did you figure a "gut check" would suffice?
    Also, I don't see how WP:SNOW could apply in this situation - have you read it, recently? Newimpartial (talk) 19:07, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    It's possible for people to read what you have written and still believe you are wrong. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:21, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    That is entirely true. In fact, I would argue that without reading what I have written, no-one can truly know whether they believe me to be wrong or not. Newimpartial (talk) 22:17, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Yes, I read your analysis. As I said, I find the arguments presented against these sources to be unpersuasive and misdirected. That would, by necessary implication, include your arguments as well. And, yes, I have read WP:SNOW. It applies directly to this situation; other editors have also invoked here it as well. I regard these two questions as bordering on an insult. Now, a question for you: have you read WP:Bludgeon recently? Banks Irk (talk) 19:52, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    This discussion appears to fail "the snowball test" at WP:SNOW, which specifies If an issue is run through some process and the resulting decision is unanimous, then it might have been a candidate for the snowball clause. The result of this filing is already not unanimous. WP:SNOW also specifies that cases where there is a genuine and reasoned basis for disagreement are not good candidates for a SNOW close. So I am struggling to see how the criteria for a SNOW close are met in this instance.
    As far as my previous comment is concerned, I'm not sure you should interpret either question as bordering on an insult. After all, my suggestion that you might not have read my 14,000 characters of analysis could reasonably be interpreted as implying that you have better things to do with your time... Newimpartial (talk) 21:59, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 3; for transgender topics, the Economist's writers and editors or whatever combination is the case have increasingly ignored and defied reliable, scientific consensus on the subject of trans health in favor of sensationalizing. The problem is worse than just one opinion piece here or there. P-Makoto (talk) 22:56, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X See my responses to the Telegraph and Times of London RFCs. Bowler the Carmine | talk 02:14, 15 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 No evidence provided that it's unreliable. DoubleCross () 14:58, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1, in pretty much the same sense as I outlined in the RfCs below on the Times and the Telegraph. It's not especially reliable, but it's generally reliable for factual content. Girth Summit (blether) 19:15, 16 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Scrap the RFC 1. Trying to derive an overgeneralization 2. Trying to do so based on conformance to one side of a political debate. 3. Conformance to one side of a political debate is not "reliability". North8000 (talk) 15:35, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. Bias on one topic has no bearing on the use of this newspaper as a source of factual information. Barnards.tar.gz (talk) 13:54, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 - bias does not equate to reliability, and WP:DUE does not deny a viewpoint weight on the basis of subjective judgments as to the quality of the view. nableezy - 18:32, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. Extremely reliable. 111.220.98.160 (talk) 11:10, 28 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. The evidence presented for any other option is very weak. EddieHugh (talk) 17:47, 3 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 - The Economist is a top-tier [WP:NEWSORG] and is reliable for factual reporting for all topics, including transgender topics. - GretLomborg (talk) 06:33, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X per Tamzin. Starting three simultaneous RfCs, taking a huge amount of space on a popular noticeboard, and a huge amount of volunteer time, in order to try to make a point in specific contexts, should result in a temporary topic ban from opening RfCs. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:17, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

RfC: The Telegraph

What best describes The Daily Telegraph's news coverage of transgender topics?

  • Option 1: Generally reliable for factual reporting
  • Option 2: Unclear or additional considerations apply
  • Option 3: Generally unreliable for factual reporting
  • Option 4: Publishes false or fabricated information, and should be deprecated

gnu57 13:35, 11 November 2022 (UTC) Note: An editor has expressed a concern that editors have been canvassed to this discussion. (diff)Reply[reply]

Context: The Telegraph

Note that recent discussions in article Talk where questions have been raised about the coverage in question include several discussions visible at Talk:Mermaids (charity), as well as this discussion on transgender medicine. Newimpartial (talk) 19:23, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Discussion: The Telegraph

  • Option 1. This is a standard quality press WP:NEWSORG based in the United Kingdom. It seems to be generally reliable for factual reporting of news, even in politically fraught areas. That being said, no WP:NEWSORG is WP:MEDRS, so it cannot be used to support claims relating to human biomedical information, much in the same way that we should not use the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal for claims relating to human biomedical information.— Red-tailed hawk (nest) 14:00, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • This seems to be trying to get a simple answer to a complex question. Reliability on a single issue (such as transgender) is not necessarily determined at editorial level, and could be down to the columnist. The Sunday Telegraph has a different editor. Transgender issues vary over social, legal and medical matters. We already have WP:MEDRS which does not regard the popular press as reliable sources for biomedical information, so to the extent that a transgender issue is biomedical, it shouldn't be used at all. Of the three sources published recently, The Telegraph is the most problematic wrt transgender issues. Its editorial stance is strongly hostile to transgender rights. It publishes trans-hostile articles nearly every single day, and sometimes many on one day. As I posted elsewhere on the 3rd November, a glance at the previous day's news, 2nd November, produced for anti-trans articles:
Given the small number of trans people and the fact that we are in the middle of an economic crisis, political turmoil and a war in Europe, this does suggest the Telegraph has entirely lost its head wrt transgender. The Telegraph routinely uses the transphobic shibboleths such as "transgender lobby" and "extreme trans ideology" or "gender ideology". This is a newspaper that regards the mainstream medical profession as extremists. I think it should be regarded as a radically trans hostile publication and treated accordingly wrt reliability and weight. -- Colin°Talk 14:33, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So you're here to WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS by getting rid of any source that disagrees with your personal opinion on transgender people. It was definitely WP:INCIVIL to express this with a link to the tendentious editing policy, but removing the comment entirely would get rid of context.Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 03:13, 23 November 2022 (UTC)Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 15:41, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Chess em, I'm not entirely sure what planet this accusation belongs on, but the one where I didn't create these three RFCs is the one the rest of us are on. Have you received your discretionary sanctions warning about this topic, because comments like that are an easy way to earn a topic ban. -- Colin°Talk 17:20, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Colin: I'm here because I randomly got a notification from the feedback request service to comment on one of these three RfCs; I don't participate in transgender-related areas very often (though I'm WP:AWARE from way back when due to participating in WP:GGTF) and these sorts of discussions is part of the reason why.
You said The Daily Telegraph "should be regarded as a radically trans hostile publication and treated accordingly wrt reliability and weight" partially because "we are in the middle of an economic crisis, political turmoil and a war in Europe".
I don't really see the point of these comments that say we should consider reliability of sources based on how many pro/anti-trans opinion pieces they publish. The Times and The Daily Telegraph are both newspapers of record and are both the definition of a reliable source.
You've said in another comment in this discussion that "The real question is not whether the Telegraph consistently makes up untrue trans stories, but whether its coverage on the matter is more like a pamphlet from a hate group than reporting one might expect in a broadsheet newspaper." You're acknowledging that you're not commenting about the topic of the RfC, which is whether or not The Daily Telegraph is reliable for factual reporting.
The thing that virtually all pamphlets from hate groups have in common is that they're full of fabrications about a group they wish to defame. If The Daily Telegraph is fabricating stories on transgender people and promoting false information such as the LGBT grooming conspiracy theory or the litter boxes in schools hoax, then say so. I don't see that here. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:37, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
What you're missing here is the context of several protracted disputes about due weight with respect to the Telegraph and Times' reposrting on transgender issues. This RFC was started in response to one of those higher up on this page, so regardless of what the formal question reads, this is not just about factual reliability. There is also a connection between these two issues, as noted by Tamzin on Talk:Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People: a source focusing on something can be taken as a statement of fact regarding which their reliability is relevant: the statement "this is a thing worth discussing". ■ ∃ Madeline ⇔ ∃ Part of me ; 18:48, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No, it's not "regardless of what the formal question reads". This is an RfC. Those who create an RfC are allowed to choose the question, and it's expected that they choose a question that accurately reflects the underlying dispute.
Secondly, the onus is on you to provide this mysterious context if it is so crucially necessary for me to base my !vote on. Not just make vague references to something that happened higher up on this massive notice board.
If people are creating RfCs to inaccurately designate sources as unreliable because it gives an advantage in WP:DUEWEIGHT discussions, that's very concerning and I hope that's not what is happening here. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:09, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Why are you assuming that the RFCs were started by someone wishing to designate these sources as unreliable? On the SOC8 talk page, gnu57 has advocated for inclusion on material sourced from these and called them top-tier, mainstream RS. ■ ∃ Madeline ⇔ ∃ Part of me ; 19:13, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Maddy from Celeste: I assumed that because I presume someone starting an RfC on a generally reliable source wants to designate it as unreliable.
Regardless, this is still a top-tier mainstream RS. And if this RfC was created in bad faith to gain an advantage in some dispute I have no knowledge of, then that's a larger issue. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:27, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have linked some of the related disputes at the top of each source's section head. Newimpartial (talk) 20:03, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Actually, in addition to being a personal attack, Chess's claim about WP:RIGHTGREATWRONGS is deeply ironic. That linked guide ensures we represent "the balance of informed opinion" and show the door to people campaigning for fringe viewpoints in science and medicine. Hmm. If you read about WPATH in the BMJ, NEJM, Lancet and other mainstream medical sources, they are referred to as an authority, a collection of professional consensus, and their guidelines widely followed. Their guidelines, like those from NICE or the DSM are of course subject to medical disagreement and change over time. But they represent consensus medical opinion, which is the highest form of MEDRS. And here we have the Telegraph claiming the organisation is a "controversial lobby group" and their "extremist guidelines" are "widely discredited", quoting the words of an actual extremist lobby group (For Women Scotland) founded by a few random people with strong views but no actual qualifications. As the Telegraph reports, they want Scotland's only specialised gender identity clinic, part of that very mainstream healthcare service calld the NHS, to be closed down. Does that sound like a group and a newspaper who are trying to RIGHT GREAT WRONGS. Yup. If this was covid, we'd have blacklisted them long ago. -- Colin°Talk 21:27, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Colin: Your point is meaningless since you seem to be conflating editorial voice and attribution. In the article you're referencing [50], The Daily Telegraph doesn't actually call the WPATH guidelines "widely discredited". It uses quote marks to WP:ATTRIBUTE the opinion to For Women Scotland. That means that The Daily Telegraph is not directly endorsing this point. You're also not telling the entire truth on what that source is saying. The term "controversial lobby group" is never used in the article; the article calls WPATH a "controversial trans group". Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 21:57, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
So I conflated "lobbying group" and "controversial trans group". The difference between editorial voice and attribution does not make my "point meaningless", which is that the article and the lobby group they extensively quote is campaigning to discredit a mainstream medical organisation, a mainstream medical consensus guideline and shut down a mainstream medical organisation's clinic that gives treatment to a group they are hostile towards. I'm not the one righting great wrongs here, it is the editors who are proposing Gpedia push the views of this fringe group, and the papers and journalists who are fully aligned with them. That's where you went very wrong. As in "I embarrassed myself on the internet" kind of wrong. I think you should stop digging.
Attribution can be used to distance a statement from that of the journalist or editorial view. Here it is not being used for that purpose, but in a "here, let me make my point by quoting a group you'll have heard of (in Scotland anyway)". It gives weight to the journalist's argument (which is clear). They extensively quote one side, and the mainstream medical side is handled through leaked recordings and unspecified sources and only to cast negativity upon them, never to actually give their side.
If a newspaper was covering an issue involving educational support for children in ethnic minorities and refuges, would your first thought be to interview a white Scottish person who had founded "White Scotland"? Would you perhaps think that although this group has strong opinions about ethnic minorities and refuges, they probably know diddly squat about education or about the difficulties those groups face in our education system. It is therefore very telling that this is exactly what the Telegraph did here, but for trans. -- Colin°Talk 10:44, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Colin: Could you elaborate on what you meant by That's where you went very wrong. As in "I embarrassed myself on the internet" kind of wrong. I think you should stop digging. Specifically, what will happen if I don't "stop digging"? Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 23:30, 13 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Colin: If you're not going to elaborate on why that isn't a thinly veiled threat to embarrass me on the internet (i.e. WP:DOXXING), I'm going to ask that you strike or remove that part of your comment. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:33, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You seem to be managing just fine all by yourself, not sure why you think I need to make any threats. -- Colin°Talk 22:01, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Colin: I think you should bring me to WP:AE for a topic-ban or strike the part of the comment where you threatened it. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 00:06, 18 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The first and third pieces you've linked are clearly labeled as "comment" (i.e. WP:RSEDITORIAL). That guideline notes that [e]ditorial commentary, analysis and opinion pieces, whether written by the editors of the publication (editorials) or outside authors (invited op-eds and letters to the editor from notable figures) are reliable primary sources for statements attributed to that editor or author, but are rarely reliable for statements of fact (internal links omitted). Take that as you will.
The objection you're placing on the second piece's factual accuracy is... what exactly? Are you arguing that Morgan did not actually appear in court for crimes that occurred both before and after transition, or that The Telegraph misrepresented the criminal proceedings in some way?
The objection you're placing on the fourth article is a classic case of WP:HEADLINE. If you read the literal first sentence of the article, the article notes that The media watchdog is to start measuring how many trans and pansexual employees work at the BBC and other major broadcasters in a push to improve diversity. It also describes the granular data collection change practices regarding ethnicity/race and notes changes to data collection practices as it pertains to disabled individuals. You don't actually need to read other sources on this to get that information, so I'm confused as to if your objection is to simply the headline or if you think that something in the article is actually false. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 15:57, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I didn't vote and I've already noted several times that I think this is trying to oversimplify a complex problem. The complex problem is of course editors who don't understand WP:VNOT and who care not for your nuance about article type and who have in all the recent discussions said effectively that if the Telegraph, a newspaper of note no less, finds something important then we must include it. I listed the above articles merely to note that any national newspaper that thinks running four anti-trans stories of a Wednesday is a balanced and proportional way to report the day's news and events has lost its way. I think participants should be aware of the purpose their vote will be used for. The three sections were created in good faith but also in naivety that votes within this topic domain end up as much more than a popularity count to see how many on each side of the culture war turn up combined with the roulette wheel of opinions of random people on the internet. And as we've already seen above, this topic attracts personal abuse. The real question is not whether the Telegraph consistently makes up untrue trans stories, but whether its coverage on the matter is more like a pamphlet from a hate group than reporting one might expect in a broadsheet newspaper. A statement in our articles on trans issues sourced to the Telegraph is highly likely to be undue and incomplete in important biased ways. I think this is the wrong forum to deal with that, but it is where we are.
What got us here is a debate about WPATH guidelines Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People. And the Telegraph article is this one.
  • Our article on WPATH describes it as a "a professional organization devoted to the understanding and treatment of gender identity and gender dysphoria, and creating standardized treatment for transgender and gender variant people". The Telegraph describes it as a "controversial trans group" and cites critics (rather than, you know, actual doctors) who claim it is "little more than a lobbying group, set up to legitimise an extreme form of gender ideology".
  • Our article on the guidelines describe it as "an international clinical protocol" that "often influences clinicians' decisions regarding patients' treatment. While other standards, protocols, and guidelines exist – especially outside the United States – the WPATH SOC is the most widespread protocol used by professionals working with transgender or gender-variant people.". The Telegraph describes it as "extreme guidelines" and a "widely discredited treatment protocol". And there is much nonsense about the NHS "secretly use[ing]" these guidelines, as well as prurient content that I have no interest in repeating.
So, no, I don't think we can use the Telegraph for sourcing this topic as their standard news reports, in this case by their Scottish Correspondent, are so rabidly frothing as to be on a different world. -- Colin°Talk 18:01, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
-- Colin°Talk 18:01, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If people are misusing commentary as a source for facts, then that's an issue with the editors, not the reliability of the organization's news reporting. And, for what it's worth, I would caution us against being overly broad in assigning a particular bias to all of The Telegraph's op-ed/editorial content as anti-trans; the paper won won a Chairman's Award in The 2019 Press Awards for columnist Diana Thomas's regular column in which she wrote about her experience transitioning from male-to-female as an adult. I think there's a bit more nuance to the publication's editorial decision making than merely pumping out anti-trans stories. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 06:17, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
random people on the internet ouch  :(
Reading this, I thought: "finally, a good example of factual inaccuracies". But sadly, no. "controversial trans group" is only in the headline (which we consider unreliable). "extreme guidelines" similarly comes only from the headline. "widely discredited treatment protocol" was a quote from someone they describe as a critic. And there isn't "much nonsense about" "secretly", that's just used a single time in the headline. DFlhb (talk) 08:33, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bias is not an issue. Slatersteven (talk) 15:25, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The "extreme guidelines" phrase is from a headline, as is "secretly use[ing]"; we don't use headlines from any source. The "widely discredited treatment protocol" is not a description made by The Telegraph; they very clearly attribute it to a representative of a campaign group (it's even in quotation marks). EddieHugh (talk) 21:02, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm not proposing we use those words so our guidelines on using them is not remotely relevant. I mentioned them because they reflect the paper's language they think is fit for describing mainstream medicine. Quotes or not, they only quote Trina Budge, who's medical qualifications are founder of anti-trans pressure group For Women Scotland. Colin°Talk 21:11, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"they only quote Trina Budge"... this is also incorrect. They quote WPATH guidelines, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, an unnamed "senior clinician", a "probe" of some kind, the NHS, the Scottish Government... and Trina Budge. EddieHugh (talk) 21:25, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That is the only person they directly quote. The others seem to involve "stuff I dug up" and vague attribution or "leaked" material. Look, if a crank website quotes Dr Crank for his extensively negative views about the WHO or the NHS in a way that is fully supportive of Dr Crank for helping make the case for the journalist, we don't waste our time wondering if some of this negative nonsense about the WHO or NHS is in a headline (I really do boggle at the desperation of that argument made by a few people above) or is editorial or attributed text. We look at it as a whole. I don't know which part of mainstream organisation and mainstream consensus guidelines and mainstream NHS clinic is not clear and how the description of those three things in this article is on another planet from reality. -- Colin°Talk 11:03, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 No evidence has been provided that this newspaper of record is unreliable/fabricates evidence. WP:RSEDITORIAL applies here as The Daily Telegraph clearly distinguishes between opinion pieces and news reporting. A newspaper that reports true facts should be considered reliable. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:42, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 and suggest SNOW closing this. If there is any question of an RS with unreliable coverage in one area, that needs to be first discussed and unresolved on talk pages before opening such discussions. --Masem (t) 18:53, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    The Telegraph's trans-related coverage has been discussed at length many, many times on talk pages. ■ ∃ Madeline ⇔ ∃ Part of me ; 18:58, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Then those cases should be brought up as evidence of why it should be changed. The three RFCs on this are all RSes in a broad sense so you will have to show with strong evidence that their factual reporting around trans issues is fundamentally bad (eg how the Fox News limits on politics and scientific reporting were determined to be bad). Masem (t) 19:01, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Or to put it another way, show some examples of them making stuff up, not bias, lies. Slatersteven (talk) 19:03, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Please see my above reply to chess. The RFC wording may be about factual reporting, but the underlying dispute fundamentally concerns bias and due weight. ■ ∃ Madeline ⇔ ∃ Part of me ; 19:05, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Which are not RS issues they are wp:undue issues. This is solely about are they an RS, bias is not part of the equation, only factual accuracy. Slatersteven (talk) 19:22, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Please see my !vote below. There is a point beyond which one-sided coverage is essentially unreliable, and coverage of transgender issues by The Times and The Telegraph is far beyond this point. Otherwise there would not be critical scholarship addressing this coverage in particular. Newimpartial (talk) 19:32, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    If we take what has been presented re the bias of these papers, then we need to apply the same principle across a wide range of RSes for a wide range of topics, such most mainstream US paper on politics in the US. Which, no, is not going to happen.
    We have to understand that bias on a topic is not a reason to make a source unreliable. It is when that bias causes a source to purposely falsify the news (read: Fox News, Daily Mail) that we should take action. That's simply not shown, just that these papers tend to focus on a position that is seen as anti-trans. Masem (t) 16:11, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Wrt making stuff up, the WPATH and their Standards of Care are mainstream consensus guidelines by professionals in the field. The Telegraph writes like a covid crank, claiming they are extremist and discredited. This is simply not true in the medical profession, only among gender critical writers (none of which are experts in the field). Taking the same attitude, here's how the Telegraph would write about covid: "The so-called World Health Organisation, more like World Unhealth Organisation, released controversial guidelines on treating covid that promoted anti-viral therapy. Clinging to the extremist germ-theory ideology, they ignore ivermectin and injectable bleach. The NHS are leaving our children and elderly vulnerable to the death rays from 5G mobile masts." Thats what, as a MEDRS author and long-term WP:MED member, the Telegraph sounds like to my ears. -- Colin°Talk 20:39, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
"here's how the Telegraph would write about covid"... to be clear, that's not how they wrote about covid, is it? EddieHugh (talk) 21:06, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
With respect to making stuff up, you're the person writing false quotes from The Daily Telegraph about COVID-19 like that has any relevance to this discussion. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 18:35, 14 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 2 - the biases of this broadsheet in its coverage of transgender rights issues have been repeatedly noted in scholarly and other high-quality sources, which is pretty much the definition of additional considerations apply. For example, peer-reviewed scholarly source concludes as follows:

The fact is that the trans community is so rarely given a platform in any form of mainstream media, that the “debate” surrounding their rights rarely includes trans people at all—as evidenced by the exclusion of trans voices in the articles from The Times and The Telegraph. Hence, trans people are dehumanised and denaturalised as their identity is debated and used for political fodder.

  • I wouldn't mind if this filing were closed as premature, however, since the editor filing has not linked to any of the previously presented evidence or prior discussions on the topic, and this seems to be a "gotcha" filing intended to precipitate !votes from editors who haven't seen any of the relevant commentary and who would precipitate an ill-informed SNOW close that could then be used as a cudgel to insist that the coverage of trans issues by The Telegraph is unproblematic, when high-quality sources on the topic suggest the opposite. Newimpartial (talk) 19:12, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    +1 ■ ∃ Madeline ⇔ ∃ Part of me ; 19:14, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Feminist Media Studies said about the New York Times and Washington Post that:[51]
    Findings reveal that pregnancy loss coverage reproduces essential and racialized notions of women as domestic, submissive, pious, and pure; reinforces problematic postfeminist rhetoric; and sensationalizes women’s grief in the service of profits. The main contribution of this study is the finding that journalists are perpetuating heteropatriarchal and post-racial ideology in service of the narrative of U.S. exceptionalism by framing miscarriage as an exclusively devastating experience.
    Now maybe it's possible that the NYT and WaPo are both racist and heteropatriarchal organizations that shouldn't be trusted on women's issues, or Feminist Media Studies is a rather biased journal. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 19:52, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Much as I don't want to encourage editors to free-base source criticism as a general rule, O will point out that the exclusion of trans voices is rather better-demonstrated in the article I linked than racist heteropatriarchy is supported in the article you linked. I don't believe anyone ought to be using one article's publication to discredit the other. Newimpartial (talk) 20:08, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @Newimpartial: If you don't believe in using one article's publication to discredit the other, what are we doing at RSN? This entire board is centered around analyzing reliable sources, but let's grab a pull quote from the very article you posted:

    this paper fills a gap in research on the “quality” newspapers, which are uniquely situated to manufacture the consent necessary for white supremacist capitalist patriarchy because their perception as the gatekeepers of “good” journalism and reliable news means that they are able to authorise certain worldviews and illegitimate others.

    Does using the term "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" sound a little biased or WP:FRINGE to you? By that article, we may need to designate The Daily Telegraph as being on the same level as The Daily Stormer given that both wish to uphold white supremacy according to the source you've provided. Or maybe it's possible that Feminist Media Studies exaggerates how extremist publications really are given that they just accused The Times of supporting white supremacy. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 21:39, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    Is it common practice at RSN to take one article a peer-reviewed journal has published and use that as an argument to deprecate all other articles pubished by that journal? Because that's what I meant by using one article's publication to discredit the other.
    And to answer your other question: using the phrase "white supremacist capitalist patriarchy" does not work for me as a "gotcha" that discredits arguments made in that same article that do not depend on the existence of white supremacy or patriarchy. But clearly YMMV. Newimpartial (talk) 21:46, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • While I highly respect feminist media studies scholarship, and don't disagree with that paper's perspective (I'll note I'm trans myself, and very familiar with these arguments in general, though not with specific arguments about The Telegraph), the paper states that it bases its analysis on feminist critical discourse analysis. That's a branch of critical theory and critical literature studies, which I must point out is are rather fringe within radical segments of academia.
Part of my degree was in critical theory; all I can say is that it doesn't strive to be objective or "reasonable". I'm emphatically not criticizing it: it's radical, as it very well should be, as its entire goal is to operate outside of societal narratives and cultural assumptions so it can effectively question them and bring new insights. But while it very much is credible, thoughtful scholarship, it would be a category error to see critical studies, as some kind of unbiased, neutral analysis, the same way that, say, scholarship about trans healthcare is neutral and unbiased. Critical studies fields are unabashedly radical, much to their credit, but we should be very mindful of how to use or interpret them.
To give a slightly off-topic but highly revealing example, several of my uni friends have degrees in both accounting and critical accounting studies (a fascinating field for which we lack a Gpedia article); in the latter, they learned all the ways in which accounting is complete bullshit, relies on arbitrary delineations, and is largely corporate fiction. They went on to become accountants, and while their critical accounting theory (CAT) background gave them a sophisticated understanding of the assumptions underlying accounting, they still disagree with many CAT arguments, and practice accounting in a conventional, "orthodox" way. Critical studies are meant to provide "food for thought" and make us beetter people, but all my critical theory teachers kept reminding us that their field wasn't the end-all-be-all.
For those whose curiosity I piqued, there's a really good book illustrating the sometimes dead-end nature of critical theory arguments, whose name I forgot; I'll try to find it. DFlhb (talk) 20:30, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
All I will say at present is that I dispute that feminist critical discourse analysis is fringe within academia, and point out that critical discourse analysts are far from being the only critics of coverage of trans issues by The Times, The Telegraph and The Economist. Newimpartial (talk) 20:36, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: Much per DFlhb, I'm frankly unconvinced that a journal on feminist critical discourse analysis is the be-all-end-all in terms of evaluating source reliability. And, even so, the quoted bit that you're taking is a critique related to the omission of transgender voices. While that might play a role in source bias, that is nowhere near the same thing as saying that the news organization is not reliable for the facts that it reports. Are you saying that the news organization actually makes factually incorrect reports here more frequently than we expect of a typical NEWSORG, or does it simply not incorporate transgender voices in its reporting as much as the author of the Feminist Media Studies piece would like? — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 20:42, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please see my reply here; I don't have time to provide additional sourcing today. Newimpartial (talk) 20:52, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
To add to the concern about using that journal, even if we take the journal itself at its word, we should be including the Guardian among the sources of concern since they are stated to be heavily pro-trans-rights in contrast to the Telegraph or Times. Which would not be reasonable. I think editors should be aware there are biases here, but by no means these should move these papers out of being reliable sources. Masem (t) 20:57, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That isn't what the article says about The Guardian, Masem. Newimpartial (talk) 21:14, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
From news sources
They made false claims that Mermaids was under investigation by the charity commision.(1)
Their coverage of transgender people is overwhelmingly negative (2, 3, 4, 5)
They have used the slur "tranny" in a headline (6) (Removed because it is from Sydney not UK telegraph)
Their headlines are often discriminatory transphobic clickbait (7, 8)
They frequently phrase things in terms of the "transgender debate" (see also, the jewish question, the negro question, etc, when a demographic is a "debate" or a "question" things aren't going well) (9)
Their reporting on the NHS and trans rights was described by IPSO, their regulator, as innacurate and they were reprimanded for it. (10)
From scholarly sources
Montiel McCann 2022: Applying a feminist critical discourse approach (Michelle M. Lazar 2005), I expose how hegemonic femininity is reproduced by broadsheets with an allegiance to the right-wing British Conservative (Tory) government—The Times and The Telegraph—to “other” trans identities and, therefore, justify discourses of anti-trans discrimination. (Thanks to Newimpartial for bringing it up)
Fae 2022: Second up? This would be the story that the Cass Review – an inquiry into trans healthcare – has re-issued and doubled down on a recommendation it made a few months back, that the NHS wind up the Tavistock Clinic, at present the only facility in the UK providing support and healthcare for trans youth. Awful news for the trans community, you’d think, and the usual suspects were there to gloat. The Daily Telegraph unleashed at least four articles on the topic in two days. The Times went sensational, with a piece headlined “Tavistock gender clinic forced to shut over safety fears”. The all too predictable narrative: treatment of trans kids is speculative and wrong. And it is now being closed down for good. The problem is that this narrative was almost entirely false... The closure was broadly welcomed in the trans community, not least because the youth service is to continue, in the form of de-centralised local services. The exact solution that trans folk have been asking for since pretty much forever. About the only news outlet to report the story accurately was Pink News, under the heading “NHS Tavistock youth gender clinic to be replaced under sweeping trans healthcare reforms”. ...Bailey herself tweeted, saying: “I have lost my case against Stonewall.” Much rejoicing in the trans community. Which is why the mainstream media reported it as, er, a defeat for Stonewall! No, honestly. Fringe commentator Unherd reported “How Allison Bailey crushed Stonewall”. An interesting verdict, given that Stonewall was so comprehensively exonerated. The Telegraph went with “Barrister wins discrimination case against Stonewall”. Well, that was their first attempt, though after the inevitable complaints, they amended it to “Allison Bailey was unlawfully victimised for opposing Stonewall’s ‘trans extremism’, tribunal rules”, although the URL for the piece still reflects the initial headline.
Pearce, Erikainen, & Vincent 2020: In the UK, ‘gender critical’ opinion pieces are regularly published in both left- and right-leaning outlets including The Observer, The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and The Mail on Sunday. A Google search for articles on ‘transgender’ published in The Times in 2018 alone yields approximately 230 results, with headlines such as ‘Girl Guide leaders expelled for questioning trans policy’ and ‘Picking and choosing gender is demonic, writes churchman’. Multiple ‘gender critical’ events have also taken place in the UK Parliament and the Scottish Parliament, hosted variously by Conservative, Labour and Scottish National Party politicians.
Pearce 2020: During my first month of fieldwork, a public debate took place across numerous media platforms over the value and limits of free speech with respect to commentary on trans issues. A particularly inflammatory column by journalist Julie Burchill was published in the Observer, entitled ‘Transsexuals should cut it out’. The Observer’s editor rapidly pulled the piece and issued an apology following a wave of complaints from readers; the article was subsequently re-published in the Telegraph. I wrote: I find it utterly impossible to maintain any kind of objective distance from all this. The Telegraph’s actions genuinely hurt at a gut level. Part of this came from anger at the idea that they consider it so important to ensure that Burchill’s diatribe retains a high-profile media platform, but part of it also came from fear upon seeing the Telegraph’s reader comments. [. . .] The comments were full of such powerful hatred. They would deny us our civil rights, our dignity, our access to medical care. (Fieldwork diary, 15 January 2013) (Auto-ethnographical perspective from a trans researcher)TheTranarchist ⚧ Ⓐ (talk) 22:11, 11 November 2022 (UTC)TheTranarchistReply[reply]
Some of your evidence are solid, others less so. it's worth noting that per WP:HEADLINES headlines are automatically unreliable, so it's not relevant here. This source you linked outlines that it's right-leaning, reflective of WP:BIASED, and critiques some headlines, but this doesn't seem to be criticising it as unreliable. Moreover, one of the sources linked, Left Voice, is a revolutionary socialist news site and magazine dedicated to fostering a sustained and strategic struggle against every form of capitalist exploitation and oppression. I'm unsure that a revolutionary site would also have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy to be considered as WP:RS. VickKiang (talk) 22:17, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When I checked the Reliable Sources Archives I couldn't find any discussions surrounding Leftvoice and whether they're reliable or not. I was unsure if it was considered acceptable or not but opted with innocent until proven guilty. However, I don't see how a revolutionary socialist news site and magazine dedicated to fostering a sustained and strategic struggle against every form of capitalist exploitation and oppression directly implies it's unreliable. WP:BIASED also covers that. If anything, revolutionary news sites have more of an incentive to accurately cover things than media controlled by the rich and powerful. Trotskyism aside, I've seen a lot of good factual reporting from them.
In terms of WP:HEADLINES, the articles I cited also touch on how they use transphobic language throughout the article rather than just the headline, which I should have made more clear. Also, while headlines are generally unreliable, the fact that they use transphobic clickbait titles specifically points to an underlying issue of bias in the source in the topic area.
For the source describing them as "right-leaning", the article discusses gender-critical bias in the media in depth and the bias and unreliablility of those positions, noting the telegraph as an example of a news publication that platforms them.
Overall, I find the telegraph incredibly biased but not overtly wrong most of time. However, when it comes to transgender topics, we should note they have a history of transphobic bias and occasional inaccurate reporting on transgender topics. TheTranarchist ⚧ Ⓐ (talk) 23:13, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
When I checked the Reliable Sources Archives I couldn't find any discussions surrounding Leftvoice and whether they're reliable or not. I was unsure if it was considered acceptable or not but opted with innocent until proven guilty. There is no guideline whatsoever stating that undiscussed sources should be assumed to reliable. If so, should we assume an undiscussed blog to be innocent? Trotskyism aside, I've seen a lot of good factual reporting from them- I don't think your personal liking of that source would result it to be reliable. Either show a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy through editorial policies, or alternatively that the authors are subject-matter-experts, WP:USEBYOTHERS could be fine. Moreover, For the source describing them as "right-leaning", the article discusses gender-critical bias in the media in depth and the bias and unreliablility of those positions, noting the telegraph as an example of a news publication that platforms them- this source you linked discusses ‘Gender critical’ accounts but I don't think generalising criticism on other areas to support this reference's occasional accuracy is the most convicing. VickKiang (talk) 23:17, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
They made false claims that Mermaids was under investigation by the charity commision. Just happened to see the Guardian reporting this story this week: "Regulator escalates investigation into trans charity Mermaids". I think if The Telegraph and The Guardian agree on something, it is likely to be factual. Andreas JN466 11:20, 4 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@TheTranarchist: As a note, this RfC is about the U.K. broadsheet, not the Australian tabloid. The coverage about the slur in the headline is very clearly about the Australian tabloid. Please strike that line from your comment. — Red-tailed hawk (nest) 22:31, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Red-tailed hawk: A good catch. That refers to The Daily Telegraph (Sydney), a low-quality tabloid. IMO the headline examples and the examples about the tabloid are irrelevant. Thanks. VickKiang (talk) 22:33, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'll break down every news and scholarly source you give, and address the claims of factual unreliability:
  • Telegraph's claim that Mermaids was being investigated: that's not false. The headline calls it an "investigation", while the body of the article makes it clear that it's a "regulatory compliance case". PinkNews disputes that it's "a formal investigation". That's not a debunking, it's a semantic argument. The Telegraph's reporting was factual here.
  • The Telegraph's other claims (lack of parental consent, a Mermaids trustee speaking to a pedophile support group and then resigning) aren't disputed, and seem accurate.
  • This talks about "transphobic editorials" at the Telegraph. Nothing to do with their news reporting's factual accuracy.
  • This talks about "transphobic dog whistles" used by the Telegraph, and links to an opinion piece. Again, nothing whatsoever to do with factual reporting.
  • This piece condemns The Telegraph for op-eds, and for reporting on a politician's anti-trans comment. I'm unimpressed.
  • Criticism of the headline isn't relevant, per WP:HEADLINE. This RFC is solely focused on the factual reliability of article contents.
  • GayTimes criticizes one Telegraph op-ed; and one news article. The news article covers research by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, commissioned to London's City University. The Telegraph attributes "fears" over "freedom of expression" to a few academics who describe being harassed; they don't make claims in their own voice, and I find no factual inaccuracies in the Telegraph piece.
  • Re: "the transgender debate" being equivalent to "the Jewish question": that's a highly offensive comparison. The Jewish question refers to Jews' right to exist. "Trans debate" was only used by Telegraph in the headline, so is irrelevant for our purposes. I'll note that "trans debate" usually refers to: 'what society should do when it comes to trans issues'. Calling it a debate is factual, and many people (including trans people & academics) disagree on how society should best accomodate trans people. That's not to say there aren't bigots, but to imply it's a genocidal dog whistle on par with 'the Jewish question' is utter bunk and worthy of condemnation.
  • The IPSO report:
  • Now, we get to the meat of the matter. The Telegraph issued two news stories in print, which were combined into one article online. They were reported to the media watchdog by a trans advocacy group, for a factual inaccuracy about a legal matter (which was incidental to the story). They issued a correction.
  • IPSO found that the correction was made "promptly and with due prominence", and were satisfied by the Telegraph's response. Though IPSO sided with the advocacy group on one inaccuracy, they disputed the group's numerous other claims of inaccuracy in the article.
Now to the research:
  • Montiel McCann 2022: I've already responded to Newimpartial above; I'll also note that as Red hawk says, it doesn't allege factual inaccuracies, just a "lack of trans voices" in media.
  • Fae 2022: though it was published in a journal, that's an opinion piece, not a study.
  • Pearce, Erikainen, & Vincent 2020: that criticizes opinion pieces in a single passing comment; not pertinent
  • Pearce 2020: that's again about an opinion article.
So, while I'm grateful you provide many links, "there's no there there". DFlhb (talk) 23:14, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The "transgender debate" is absolutely a dog whistle and it's an apt comparison. Quoting from the article on the jewish question: The Jewish question, also referred to as the Jewish problem, was a wide-ranging debate in 19th- and 20th-century European society that pertained to the appropriate status and treatment of Jews. The debate, which was similar to other "national questions", dealt with the civil, legal, national, and political status of Jews as a minority within society, particularly in Europe during the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. In regards to calling it a debate is factual, that doesn't mean the fact there's a "debate" isn't an issue.
In regards to I'll note that "trans debate" usually refers to: 'what society should do when it comes to trans issues'., one could say the "jewish question" usually refers to: 'what society should do when it comes to jewish issues'. The key issues in the "trans debate" are usually things like: should the government legally recognize the existence of transgender people, enforce non-discrimination protections (especially in public spaces), or let them live in society with the full rights of other citizens.
The use of "jewish question" in historical sources does not imply a source is calling for outright extermination any more than the "transgender debate" does. The issue is the larger cultural framing where the existence and rights of a demographic are posed as a debate or question that needs to be discussed.
Sidenote, I have friends who are trans and jewish who have brought up the connection between the framings. Also seen trans and jewish accounts I follow make the comparison. Or is it still utter bunk and worthy of condemnation when they say it? TheTranarchist ⚧ Ⓐ (talk) 00:04, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I have friends who are trans and jewish I am both, and yes, it's condemnable. I'll stay high-level because this has nothing to do with the RFC, but: debates on the legal status of Jews, or trans people, involve discrimination. You said The Telegraph frequently phrase[s] things in terms of the "transgender debate", and claim that's equivalent to the "Jewish question" (i.e. right to exist). The Telegraph was using "debate" (only in its headline, not in the article) to refer to the entire nationwide conversation between TERFS, trans people, and everyone in between; not to refer to a debate about trans people's legal status or right to exist, and not to refer specifically to TERFS. You were putting one of the UK's two newspaper of record on the same level as stuff like Der Stürmer. I realize hyperbole is hugely present online, and that many of your friends may think like this, but I humbly suggest you take a step back from it and see if you really find it rational. DFlhb (talk) 00:37, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've had this discussion in the past w.r.t. other articles. People who use the term Jewish question nowadays usually are doing it because it implicitly invokes Hitler's final solution to the Jewish question and do it as a dogwhistle such as by saying "JQ".[53] [54]
You can't really make that comparison to the term "transgender debate" because as far as I'm aware, no world leader created & enacted a plan called the "final answer to the transgender debate" in which all transgender people within a geographic area would be murdered. The claim that some of your friends are Jewish and so you can make this comparison here is a logical fallacy. Chess (talk) (please use {{reply to|Chess}} on reply) 05:26, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Chess:, @DFlhb:
1) The "jewish question" and it's framing of the right to exist does not shed the full light on the situation. The "jewish question" was not just "should we genocide the jews", it was "should we give them rights, if so, which and which not". The "final solution" was only the Nazi's answer to the question, as the "jewish question" as a linguistic cultural framing existed before the Nazis. To help illustrate this divide between the "jewish question" as a debate which existed, a modern dogwhistle, and the "final solution", the article for it states According to Otto Dov Kulka of Hebrew University, the term became widespread in the 19th century when it was used in discussions about Jewish emancipation in Germany (Judenfrage). In the 19th century hundreds of tractates, pamphlets, newspaper articles and books were written on the subject, with many offering such solutions as resettlement, deportation, or assimilation of the Jewish population. Similarly, hundreds of works were written opposing these solutions and offering instead solutions such as re-integration and education.. In short, the "jewish question" was the "debate" playing out in media over whether jews should have rights, not a reference to a particular answer, though the existence of a debate necessarily implies those for and against.
2) The Gay City News Article referenced discuss LGBT reactions to posing rights as a "debate", which the vast majority of survey respondents found harmful. The link between the "jewish question" and "trans debate" is the fact that the media has framed the rights of a minority as a debate to be had and settled. Key to a debate, their are two sides, namely should people have rights, or not.
3) The telegraph article itself that used the term "trans debate" (one of many, I should add), states The equalities watchdog has launched a study into the sex versus gender row amid fears that the abuse of feminist academics by trans activists is harming freedom of expression and a vicious debate between those who believe biological sex cannot be changed, known as "gender-critical" views, and trans activists who argue that men who identify as women should be legally recognised as female. and Baroness Falkner of Margravine, the EHRC chairman, has recognised there is "genuine public concern" that women's and transgender rights can be in conflict. In all of these, the debate is framed as between feminists (who support women's rights by opposing trans rights) and the trans activists who speak up against them (who just want rights and to be left alone but are framed in a negative light and their arguments strawmanned), saying transgender rights are dangerous for other people, and the article overwhelmingly takes the side of the gender-critical camp. A quick search on google finds 129 articles by the telegraph referencing the "trans debate" or "transgender debate".
4) I have only heard the "transgender debate" used in real life by those staunchly opposed to transgender rights. In the media, a source saying "the transgender debate" almost always betrays a position opposed to transgender rights. The entire nationwide conversation between TERFS, trans people, and everyone in between is in fact a debate about trans people's legal status or right to exist
5) In terms of the "final solution", which I re-iterate is not 1-1 with the "jewish question", at the moment there is no equivalent (for a start, genocide against ethnic vs gender minorities takes different forms, since eradicating an ethnic community is a different issue than eradicating trans communities because transgender people can continue to be born by those who aren't). But two things play into that. 1) The Nazis also sent transgender and LGBT people to the concentration camps, but did not debate or make a big deal of them in the media beforehand. The existence of the "X debate" is not a 1-1 connection with genocide. 2) People referencing the "transgender debate" have formed answers like, off the top of my head: forcibly detransition all transgender youth, make it more difficult for transgender people to change their name and gender and thus participate civically as cisgender people can, make it a crime to discuss transgender issues or support in higher education, make it a crime for transgender people to use public facilities because cis people might feel threatened, decry transgender people as an infectious ideology that needs to be stopped, and take transgender youth away from supportive parents to place them with unsupportive ones. (See Marjorie Taylor Greene's federal bill and the situation in Texas). In short, transgender people's rights to exist in the public sphere, have their existence recognized, and define their own community and continuity of knowledge. Has the answer been "kill them all" yet? Apart from the most unhinged far-right elements, no, and even then they'll usually just attack the "grooming" adults to "protect the children". Overall, the debate has been "should transgender people be allowed to exist here with the same rights as everyone else", with no as a frequent answer.
6)In short, the "transgender debate" and "jewish question" are both references to an existing media debate over what extent a minority should have the same rights as everyone else. The "jewish question", while inextricably linked with the "final solution", is not 1-1 with it, as there were those who called for reactionary but not outright genocidal answers to it. As in the modern situation. The existence of the "debate" is factual, but how it's framed and used often betrays the publication's biases. A sidenote, I am in fact writing a research paper on the rise and fall of transgender rights from Weimar Republic to Nazi rule, and in fascist states more broadly, and similarities and differences with the modern trans situation in the U.S. in terms of media/cultural framing, legal rights, and medical rights, so this is an area I have extensively studied. I do not feel my comparison is hyperbole or irrational, rather a critical analysis of common rhetorical tactics used to oppose people's rights, namely the persistent framing of attacks on people's rights as a "debate" and widespread media discussions which use this framing. I am not comparing "Der Stürmer" to "The Telegraph", as neither was the only voice speaking of the "X question", merely speaking to the existence and implications of widespread media coverage from all ranges of the political spectrum posing minority rights as a debate/question. There's other work I plan to do on Gpedia today but I hope this clarifies my argument and positions. TheTranarchist ⚧ Ⓐ (talk) 18:37, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I'm a bit in the weeds here, but I think the "X Question" issue is a red herring. Basically every national movement of the 19th-20th century was framed in terms of "X Question": see German question, Polish question, Irish question, Romanian Question Austrian question, Italian question, English question, Czech question, Russian question, Spanish question,Turkish question, Finnish question. It's archaic terminology, but not inherently offensive, although I'd readily concede that the misconception that asking national questions leads to final solutions is widespread. signed, Rosguill talk 00:06, 17 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 and a trout to the person who started this nonsense.47.160.161.90 (talk) 22:17, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. I agree with the comment above. No evidence has been given to substantiate these RfCs. Gitz (talk) (contribs) 23:08, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1, per my extensive (and time-consuming) analysis of the arguments provided for unreliability, which people can see above by searching my name. I do think WP:SNOWBALL applies here. DFlhb (talk) 23:16, 11 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    How can SNOWBALL apply when the !votes are divided? Asking for a friend. :) Newimpartial (talk) 00:22, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Newimpartial: This is one part I agree with you, WP:SNOW probably won't apply at those RfCs, even though the result currently leans towards Option 1. VickKiang (talk) 01:35, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Comment: Separate to the question of reliability is the question of bias, which some assert, and some dismiss as constrained to op-eds. But I think option 1 supporters should more clarify whether they consider the factual reporting biased or unbiased. I also invite option 2/3 supporters to provide evidence of bias in specifically the news coverage, by linking us to specific articles they feel are biased, rather than by using academic sources that are commenting on the op-eds. I've yet to see arguments of ideological or opinionated bias in the news coverage, and would like to see individual examples. DFlhb (talk) 01:22, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 as I explained in the previous comments here. The Telegraph (UK) is a credible newspaper of record. I acknowledge WP:DUE concerns, it should not be used at all for WP:MEDRS claims, and Colin as well as Andrevan raises good comments on its bias, IMO The Telegraph is slightly more conservative compared to The Economist or The Times. However, I currently see insufficient evidence of repeated inaccuracies and misleading statements in news sections that would push this towards marginally reliable or generally unreliable, though if more references demonstrating that are found do ping me. VickKiang (talk) 01:35, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 It seems some don't like how they cover the topic but that doesn't mean the coverage isn't reliable. Of course the reliability of any specific article can be questioned even if the source is considered generally reliable on the topic. IE, treat it as we treat any other generally reliable source. Springee (talk) 04:59, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 As with the Times discussion, no real attempt has been made to prove factual unreliability, which is what we need to see. We don't state sources are unreliable because of their biases, the articles linked above show convincingly that the Telegraph opposes the expansion of trans-rights, and that trans-advocates consider its editorial line to be transphobic. But they do not show a higher level of factual inaccuracy on this topic than is displayed in the paper's general output. Ergo, it can not be considered unreliable on this topic. Boynamedsue (talk) 08:19, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1 A standard quality WP:NEWSORG with editorial oversight. Nothing unreliable here and no evidence for unreliability has been provided. I do hope this isn't another WP:POINT of going after right-leaning sources again (But I AGF and assume it is not). The C of E God Save the King! (talk) 08:36, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    @The C of E: The person who nominated this wants it to be declared reliable. They are WP:FORUMSHOPPING from the discussion on Talk:Standards of Care for the Health of Transgender and Gender Diverse People. (Or in other words: yes this is WP:POINTy but in the opposite direction you think.) Loki (talk) 18:26, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 3 In case it isn't clear from my comments. The Telegraph reports on trans issues in much the same way as we see Covid cranks, HIV-deniers, MMR-autism promoters, where the mainstream is considered extreme and where fringe voices are the only one's heard and where interviewing actual doctors or actual trans people is a weird idea, when one could instead interview and give platform to some random person who started a pressure group. Using The Telegraph, on trans issues, is a textbook example of WP:RIGHTINGGREATWRONGS with editors frequently push statements sourced to them while denying WP:VNOT. -- Colin°Talk 11:35, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Judging non-wikipedia sources by wikipedia policies is not helpful. The Telegraph is not a collaborative encyclopaedia and so our rules on tendencious editing are completely irrelevant. We could equally apply WP:RIGHTINGGREATWRONGS to the Pink News coverage of Trans issues, and we would be equally wrong to do so. The difference between the Telegraph's standpoint and the conspiracy theories that you name is that they are arguing about the social desirability of certain activities and legal situations relating to trans-issues, rather than arguing against the existence scientific facts. That doesn't mean there is no case that their positions are bigoted, but it doesn't make the information they publish factually wrong. Boynamedsue (talk) 12:09, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Boynamedsue, I realised I didn't word that sentence correctly. I missed of "Using" to the start of it and have now added that. You are right, I'm not judging the telegraph by our policies, I'm judging the editors. If the Telegraph was arguing about social or legal matters then that might be fair ground for them, but they are specifically discussing a medical professional organisation, medical consensus guidelines and in the case of the clinic in the photograph, an NHS medical facility that campaigners want closed down. None of those things are social or legal. They are medical. We have editors, in the linked case, arguing we must include viewpoints on medical guidelines coming from fringe lobby groups who have no medical training and are not representing any significant viewpoint in the medical profession. They are a political feminist organisation. This is like saying our Covid articles must include a statement that its viral cause is "controversial" because some people think it is caused by 5G. I do think the Telegraph is factually wrong on that. If they were being factually correct, they would acknowledge the mainstream aspect of the organisation, guidelines and clinic and make it clear that it is a minority and non-medical view that is being vocalised by For Woman Scotland. I think they are factually wrong in which group they label "extreme", and its factual incorrectness is demonstrated if you read reliable sources on the matter, or indeed, our own Gpedia article. -- Colin°Talk 13:42, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I tend to disagree, this is querying medical practice as it exists in a particular place and time, rather than querying scientifically proven facts such as the existence of viral coronavirus and the effectiveness of a vaccine in creating antibodies. The transgender debate clearly has a social aspect around which debate is legitimate, the situation is more similar to that which occurred around the desirability and effectiveness of the various anti-covid measures. Boynamedsue (talk) 16:07, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option 1. I waited until examples of claimed false reporting were presented. DFlhb's summary above matches what I found in reviewing them. The most serious – an IPSO ruling – concluded that "The published correction put the correct position on record and was offered and published promptly and with due prominence. No further action was required" (the other complaints were not upheld). This is in accordance with standard practice. Not liking what a source publishes is very different from demonstrating that a source is problematic. The latter hasn't been done for this source. EddieHugh (talk) 12:24, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • Option X: Scrap RfC. This seems to be a case of someone asking a question on which they favor the status quo, without presenting any of the arguments that have been given elsewhere against the status quo, to drum up easy !votes on their side. Any RfC on this question should contain, at a minimum, a summary of reasons people have objected to the use of The Telegraph on trans topics. -- Tamzin[cetacean needed] (she|they|xe) 13:54, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
    • I don’t understand this objection… summaries and arguments for/against the use of a source are supposed to be placed in the discussion section of an RFC… and this discussion contains several of such summaries. Blueboar (talk) 15:17, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
      I think the point is it should begin with a clearly laid out set of reasons why their reliability in this domain is contested. This was always going to be an uphill battle given (a) the number of editors who want to use the Telegraph because it supports their POV on the matter and (b) the number of editors who have no idea that the Telegraph has completely lost the plot when it comes to trans issues. -- Colin°Talk 19:05, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is no obligation to begin with a summary of the doubts around a source, I have even been told off for doing so in the past. Do you feel that the problems you perceive with this source are still not outlined here? --Boynamedsue (talk) 22:06, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Per the edit notice to this noticeboard titled Before posting, please be sure to include any of the following information that is available:, editors should include context on 2. Article. The Gpedia article(s) in which it is being used. For example: [[Article name]]. and 3. Content. The exact statement(s) or other content in the article that the source is supporting. Please supply a WP:DIFF or put the content inside block quotes. Many sources are reliable for statement "X" but unreliable for statement "Y". That information was available to gnu57 prior to posting this, as evidenced by the related discussion on LBC News. Sideswipe9th (talk) 22:13, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I would like to point out that numerous recent RfCs, including the Fox News RfC this year at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 385, ANNA News at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 371, had this structure with no context. In contrast, others, e.g., Insider at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 381 and Jacobin at Gpedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 351, had some context, and I think both are reasonable. VickKiang (talk) 22:31, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Fox News RfC included in its filing the context on the past discussions involving that source, and an evidence base in support of its unreliability. You are correct though that the ANNA News RfC lacked context, though some was added twenty minutes after filing by the OP. However while there are undoubtedly examples of previous discussions being filed without context, it does not prevent it from being a valid criticism of how this set of discussions were opened.
In this particular filing, context is incredibly important. As can be demonstrated by the very swift replies of "reliable, it's a newspaper of record", there are as Colin has pointed out a great number of editors who have no idea just how unreliable The Telegraph has become with regards to reporting on transgender issues in the last 5/10 years. Both the Telegraph and Times are currently publishing at least one anti-trans article, per day, and have been doing so since at least 2019/20. Filtering through that rather large pile of articles, cross-referencing that against reporting from other sources, and checking archival versions for articles that have been subtly or not so subtly altered post-publication takes time. It also takes time to find, access, read, and assess what other reliable sources (both media and academic) have been saying about these publications so that their findings can also be presented.
While there are several editors here who have been preparing for a discussion on the Times and Telegraph, including myself, none of us were prepared for it to be sprung without notice, and without the context necessary for those uninvolved in this content area to understand the nature and scope of the problem. As such we have all been put on the back foot by this, and now face a much harder challenge of informing and convincing other editors as to the problem when it comes to these sources. Tamzin's interpretation of this as a case of someone asking a question on which they favor the status quo, without presenting any of the arguments that have been given elsewhere against the status quo, to drum up easy !votes on their side is a charitable one, as there are far more cynical alternatives both within and without the realm of WP:AGF. Sideswipe9th (talk) 23:22, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]
In fact in this very noticeboard previously I've already addressed some editors' concerns with the CNN ref at here. It would really be beneficial in providing new references rather than repeating the same point over again. Thanks. VickKiang (talk) 23:28, 12 November 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply