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Wikipedia:NPOV dispute

Articles that have been linked to this page are the subject of an NPOV dispute. This means that in the opinion of the person who added this link, the article in question does not conform to NPOV standards. See What links here (/w/wiki.phtml?title=Special:Whatlinkshere&target=Wikipedia:NPOV_dispute) for a list of articles in NPOV dispute.

Table of contents
1 NPOV Disputed Articles

What is NPOV?

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

See Wikipedia's Neutral point of view page for an exhaustive treatment of the subject.

What is an NPOV dispute?

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

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

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

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

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

Here is a code you can copy and paste:

''The neutrality of this article is [[Wikipedia:NPOV dispute|disputed]].''

Which issues are under debate?

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

How can one disagree about NPOV?

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

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

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

  • The article can simply be biased, and express viewpoints as facts.
  • While all facts might be presented fairly, the very selection (and omission) of facts can make an article biased.
  • Some viewpoints, although not presented as facts, can be given undue attention and space compared to others.
  • The text and manner of writing can insinuate that one viewpoint is more correct than another.
  • The subject or title of the article can imply a particular point of view.

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


NPOV Disputed Articles



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