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Wikitravel talk:Be fair

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Discussion[edit]

I'm not sure if "neutral point of view" is what we're looking for here. On Wikipedia, an extreme summary of NPOV is this: articles should not advocate positions on any topic, but rather describe the positions held by others. Thus, "Dingy but passable Greek restaurant with surly waitstaff, rich and generous portions of moussaka, tinny stereo system" wouldn't cut it on Wikipedia. The three regular customers of the restaurant may think it's the finest Greek establishment in the country, even if solely out of ignorance of good Greek food. The Wikipedia NPOV version would read more like this:

Most travel guides, notably Lonely Planet and Wikitravel, rate this restaurant as "passible" or "mediocre". However, several customers have argued that the usual tourist clientelle don't fully understand or appreciate the Greek cuisine offered.

Of course, such a description would be absolutely awful in a travel guide. For the most part, travel guides are about the writer's opinions; not everyone will always agree with the guide, but if the writer provides honest and fair opinions, travellers will find his suggestions a reliable indicator of things to try or avoid.

Maybe a better name for this guideline is "Be fair"? -- Stephen Gilbert 23:14, 16 Aug 2003 (PDT)

Agreed. If the place sucks, then people want to know about it. But not in terms that will get us sued for libel. We don't want to be too gushy either because that's just as useless - you can't describe EVERY restaurant as 'the best Italian/Greek/Chinese food you'll ever taste' because that doesn't really tell the reader anything. If it's great, tell us. If it's mediocre, tell us that, and if it was truly a hellhole that gave you foodpoisoning then warn people to stay out of there! 'Be fair' seems reasonable to me... KJ 00:20, 17 Aug 2003 (PDT)
Yes, we should be fair, not neutral. D.D. 11:33, 17 Aug 2003 (PDT)
Strongly agree Simone 08:24, 21 Jan 2006 (EST)

Be fair[edit]

So, I want to combine Wikitravel:the traveller comes first (TTC1) and this article into something that makes sense. I think there are some key points here that can be made:

  • We're making a travel guide, not a soap box. This isn't the place to convert new recruits to Xenuism or to discuss the pros and cons of being a vegan.
  • We need to give practical information to travellers. The key to any topic should be: what does the traveller need to know to make good decisions?
  • We don't need to do the WikiPedia:Wikipedia:Neutral point of view thing here, where we describe every possible position. It's probably OK for us to say that you can fly west from San Francisco to Asia and Europe and New York and come back to it again, even though there's a small and vocal minority of flat-earthers that would deny this.
  • I think that TTC1 also prohibits against unreasonable advertisements.

I think a merger of the two would come under Wikitravel:Be fair, but I'd be interested in other names for this guiding principle. --Evan 10:14, 21 Dec 2003 (PST)

I'd like to resurrect the proposal to rename this article as Be fair, even if only to distance ourselves from Wikipedia a little — we're not writing an encyclopedia here. But I oppose a merger with Traveller comes first, which is IMHO a separate point. Jpatokal 04:28, 2 Dec 2004 (EST)
Third time in three years — are there any actual objections to this renaming? Jpatokal 06:00, 21 Jan 2006 (EST)
I like it. Let's do it! -- Mark 08:17, 21 Jan 2006 (EST)

Done. I don't particularly like my pizza example, better ones welcome. Links pointing here should also be adjusted accordingly. Jpatokal 05:27, 22 Jan 2006 (EST)

Excess Baggage[edit]

Interesting points that may be worth considering here: MeatBall:ExcessBaggage. Maybe Wikitravel:Check your baggage? --Evan 11:34, 21 Dec 2003 (PST)


'Cheating'[edit]

From the Wikitravel:Travellers' pub:

How will we avoid the owners of various establishments (eg Pubs etc) flooding the pages with good reports about their own restuarants, or even worse, sladering their competitors... I'm not seeing any clear way around this. Any ideas? -- Lionfish 10:59, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT) (17:00 BST)

This has come up before, I can't find the discussion right now, but I think the answer was that we "hope" we have problems like this! It would be hard to have too many contributors and there's no real reason why owners shouldn't be able to contribute too. So far we haven't had much trouble with anyone going overboard with this-- when a listing is obviously and ad, it usually gets changed or removed. From what I can tell, spammers tend to just stick a link in and anyone who bothers to actually write a proper listing usually means well. Slandering competitors isn't really a problem becuase of the Wikitravel:Avoid negative reviews guideline. Is there a particular listing you're worried about? Majnoona 11:30, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Also have a look at Wikitravel:Neutral point of view. Rave reviews will get toned down to good reviews, while the review is always subject to revision by that customer who has a bad experience. Advertising hype often just gets deleted. While an honest, enthusiastic but genuine review tends to remain as an irreduciable minimum despite copyediting to tone it down.
Mind you, I have a bigger problem; persuading a business owner to even list in the first place! From what I have seen of most business owners' activities attempting to list/publish their websites/businesses on the internet, they probably get more value from paying for advertising in the local newspaper or yellow pages! I do not think the problem is the individual proprietor as they probably care about how their business is presented. The real problem is the internet advertiser who is being paid for, and so needs to justify having, a website that lists lots of businesses by getting lots of internet traffic. They do not care what they do except that they get the traffic and so think they can do anything that might work. Hence we get wiki-spam from people who do not understand how the internet user really behaves. Maybe Wikitravel will drive them out of business, because people will know that Wikitravel can be relied upon, when nobody else can! -- Huttite 18:19, 16 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Good points there, thanks! I generally agree: And if one review is very different from a dozen others, it'll be ignored. I think wiki* is too new to really see how it'll work in the long term. It'll be exciting to see how it goes! (I'll try to add more content soon, but have finals coming up...) Lionfish 05:47, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT) (11:48BST)
Well we've been doing this for a couple of years now, and we don't seem to have this problem. -- Mark 06:08, 17 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Infobox[edit]

So, I didn't like the addition of the infobox, and I've reverted it for now. It seemed to be re-stating the same information that was found in the main text. I guess there may be a reason to contrast the Wikipedia NPOV, so I've added a note about that in the text. --Evan 10:10, 9 April 2007 (EDT)

Local or business bias[edit]

I've broken this into a new section, but I don't think there is any new policy here, hopefully just a clarification of what was here. --Inas 03:06, 5 March 2009 (EST)

Template:Disputed[edit]

Archived from Template talk:Disputed:

Having this template may be useful, but do we really have any articles where the facts are disputed? Usually it's a battle of opinions! Jpatokal 23:21, 14 Dec 2005 (EST)

I am strongly opposed to this template. I don't think we should go the Wikipedia route, where people put a "disputed" or "NPOV" tag to any article they wish to discredit. Having templates like this simply discourages people from making a coherent case as to why they dispute a particular article. --Ravikiran 00:05, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
Even on Wikipedia you're supposed to outline exactly what you're disputing... Jpatokal 00:12, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
Yeah but people frequently put up tags and leave it at that. Having such clutter is okay in Wikipedia, where the look of the article matters very little when compared to the factual accuracy and fairness of the article. In Wikitravel, we do care about how the article looks. Of course, we do care about factual accuracy on some things - like restaurant phone numbers and locations, but I don't think we really need to get the last bit of the controversy about the Aryan Invasion Theory exactly right (In the "Understand" section of India) In any case, I think that we shouldn't have this for opinions. I don't think that a traveller needs to be warned that a sentence like "Taj Mahal is the most beautiful creation on the face of this earth" is some Wikitraveller's personal opinion.
That said, I wouldn't be so opposed to having an inline {{dubious}} tag as they have in the 'pedia, where particular factual statements is marked as doubtful, provided we make clear in the guidelines that it is a last resort. That will at least force you to be clear about what part you are doubtful about. --Ravikiran 00:38, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)


There, how's that with the rewrite? We could even rename the template to something more along the lines of 'factual accuracy is still being confirmed' or something else less melodramatic. Mithridates 00:35, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
There was an edit conflict when I was posting my last comment. See above. --Ravikiran 00:44, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)

Mithridates, could you give an actual example of how you want to use this template? For example, if it was you adding the template to Panmunjeom, what part of the article do you object to? Jpatokal 00:59, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)

My approach to disputed content would be to remove it and discuss it on the talk page. Once an agreement was reached then I would put back the agreed content. Consequently I do not see any need for a template like this. One of the Wikitravel linking guidelines is that articles should not link out of the main namespace. This template violates that guideline. I know the article status notes do too, but I see those notes as having appropriate links and they can be excluded from printed articles as they appear at the bottom of the page. This template is in-line and looks like content rather than a message. If it were to be used I would want it to look more like an article status note, with a box, etc. However, I fail to see the need or utility. -- Huttite 03:39, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
I think the best way to deal with disputed facts is to change them. A "disputed" tag seems to me a way to ruin an article without giving any way to improve it. --Evan 09:56, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
Agreed. I can't think of when this template would be needed for Wikitravel, and wouldn't be at all opposed to seeing it vfd'd. -- Ryan 11:17, 15 Dec 2005 (EST)
Also agree. But if the change is accepted, it is not disputed. I see discussion is needed only if there is a dispute about the text. If you want to put back text that was already changed. Then discuss it. Removing it gets the attention, and is a change. -- Huttite 18:15, 17 Dec 2005 (EST)

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