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Maharaji (Prem Rawat)
- Incidentally, my first attempt at getting a sourced quote to Wikiquote was deleted by another user, who claimed the source was "not reputable". I would question that. Who decides such matters? Revera 12:32, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
Anyone can add, delete, or change material to an article, but they should do these things according to Wikiquote policy. In the edit of Maharaji (Prem Rawat) that you refer to, Jossifresco cites the general Wikipedia policy (which Wikiquote follows as well) that blogs are not considered a reliable source for information, because they can be written to by anyone and there is no editorial review to ensure accuracy or neutrality. (It may seem ironic, given that Wikipedia and Wikiquote are similar in that they also allow anyone to edit and have no formal review board, but that's why we must depend on reliable sources to provide the raw material from which we develop articles.)
Reviewing the source provided , I made the following observations:
- The site's "about" page makes it clear that this site is for followers and supporters of Maharaji, making it obviously not a neutral source.
- The site's Alexa rating is about 860K, which is far, far below usual inclusion guidelines, even if it wasn't an advocacy site.
- The Wikipedia article, Prem Rawat, also seems rather a bit worshipful in tone, although I admit this is just from a quick scan of the article. (It has features that scream POV to experienced editors; for instance, concepts using common words in unusual ways that are inadequately or circularly defined for a general audience.) On the other hand, there seems to be quite a bit of objective material as well that might be useful to a polished article. (And I can't fault the obvious effort its half-dozen editors have put into it in only three days.)
I won't otherwise address the Wikipedia issues here, but a reliable Wikiquote source, like in WP, is a publication, recording, or website with a substantial general reputation, not just among a community of like-minded individuals. (Review the various links in WP:RS to read up on the many approaches to determining "reliability".) A book by a well-known author, an article in an established magazine, or a page on a well-visited website can be good sources. Of course, since we're talking quotes, any verifiable writings by the subject (e.g., a published book) are obvious sources for quotes from that subject.
There are many instances of web-posted interviews that are used as sources, but the ones that survive review by the community tend either to be web version of physical-world organizations (e.g., Guardian.co.uk for The Guardian) or are established websites in their own right (e.g., IMDb). Another possible source for interviews would be a recording that was telecast on a major news outlet or sold commercially (not as a "vanity press" publication, but for the general public). The best thing to do is read up at Wikipedia:Reliable sources to get a feel for how this works. I hope this helps a bit. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 13:19, 14 March 2006 (UTC)
- Thanks for the useful information and advice, Jeff. I see Jossi has since reinstated the quote, so that's a step in the right direction - as far as "assuming good faith" in his reasons for editing is concerned.
- I must admit that the tenet at the heart of Wikipedia, namely "we assume that most people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it", is fine as far as it goes.
- Trouble is, when an article about a controversial figure, such as Prem Rawat, is being edited - mostly by people who have a vested interest in promoting his teachings, and glossing over criticisms of him - well that's when the assumption of good faith has to be brought into question. For such promoters, their desire is to present their "Master" in the best possible light. And the current Wiki article on Prem Rawat has been a battleground for a whole lot longer than the "three days" you seem to believe it's been in existence! Perhaps that's because its most active editor was/is Rawat's own former webmaster - one Jossi Fresco! (he doesn't deny being that, by the way).
- But thanks again for the feedback, Jeff.
- Regards, Revera 21:47, 16 March 2006 (UTC)
- How sloppy of me to have missed the longer history of the WP article just because it had had 50 edits in the past three days. Also, I'm quite troubled by the idea that one of our editors might be transferring information from their own website to here and using it as a reference. This is very bad practice on both Wikipedia and Wikiquote, especially after the recent worldwide publicity over inaccurate and libelous edits by someone with an axe to grind. I don't really want to get involved in a yet another POV dispute right now — I'm mainly trying to work on horribly neglected WQ policy issues and welcome and assist newcomers, as well as add and correct quotes — but this seems like something that should be discussed and reviewed by the community. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 04:10, 17 March 2006 (UTC)
- I think the credibility of Wikipedia is a vitally important issue - especially now that it's becoming cited as a reputable and reliable source of information. Our and our children's education is becoming influenced by Wikpedia, and hence society's as a whole - both now and in the world of the future. But if the information presented on Wiki is being "spun" by those with undeclared vested interests - the Prem Rawat article being a case in point - then the objectivity, let alone the neutrality, of ANY article is open to question. And the whole concept of the supposed objectivity and accuracy of Wiki is brought into doubt.
- I'd say that discussion on the need to "declare an interest" in an article before editing it must become something that is publicly stated before allowing such editors to contribute/alter/remove information. How that could be done is a toughie, I have to admit - but I'm only a newbie here. If these issues ever DO reach discussion by the larger Wiki community, (don't know how that's done, BTW) I'd love to hear the outcome.
- Revera 14:04, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
- I'VE JUST NOTICED THAT THIS - MY USER DISCUSSION PAGE - HAS HAD MY OWN POSTS ON IT EDITED/REMOVED BY SOMEONE. What the hell's going on? The discussion starts with Jeff quoting a former post of mine - WHICH IS NO LONGER VISIBLE.
- I'm FURIOUS about this.
- ~ ~ ~ ~
- Don't worry — nothing has been removed from your talk page. I only quoted part of your posting to my talk page, as the rest of it was just a response to my welcome message. You can verify this by checking my edit. You can also review your talk page history using the "history" tab at the top of the page. (This is an invaluable tool for determining who wrote what when, especially when people forget to sign their posts or don't do it correctly (as you just did by inadvertently putting spaces between the tildes [~]). You can read up on how to use this feature at Help:Page history. ~ Jeff Q (talk) 17:50, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
- OK, got you there Jeffq, the conversation started on your talk page and you replied here? Got it. My mistake as far as the discussion page is concerned. But something HAS been removed - from my userpage: there was an explanation of what my username meant in Latin ("revera"="in fact", and a link to a Wiki page detailing that). Somehow that HAS been deleted, and I'm still hopping mad. Also I see you've later put the heading "Maharaji (Prem Rawat)" at the top of this dialogue. Hmmm. Mind if I remove it? - because the question you were replying to was not solely related to that article - it was a question about Wiki policy as a whole.
- What I'd like to know is - how come my userpage was changed without it showing up on the history record? And yes, I'm still flippin' livid. Revera 21:26, 18 March 2006 (UTC)
- Aha! Now it all starts to make sense. I'll have to forgive myself for thinking that the 'my talk' page on WikiPEDIA would have been the same one that WikiQUOTE links to. But, of course (of course?) the two are entirely separate pages. For that I stayed off editing for nearly a year? (kicks self) Revera 20:57, 28 February 2007 (UTC)