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විකිපීඩියා:මතභේදකාරී ලිපි

විකිපීඩියා වෙතින්

Controversial articles, by their very nature, require far greater care to achieve a neutral point of view.

Describe the controversy


An article about a controversial person or group should accurately describe their views, no matter how misguided or repugnant. Remember to ask the question, "How can this controversy best be described?" It is not our job to edit Wikipedia so that it reflects our own idiosyncratic views and then defend those edits against all comers; it is our job to be fair to all sides of a controversy.

Please be clear that the Wikipedia neutrality policy certainly does not state, or imply, that we must "give equal validity" to minority views in a controversy.

See also Wikipedia:Neutral point of view.

Be careful with attribution


When writing an article on most topics in Wikipedia, simple declarations of fact and received opinion do not need to be sourced; indeed, it would be prohibitive to force editors to provide a reliable source for every claim.

However, when dealing with potentially contentious topics, such as in the field of religion or current affairs, a lot more care has to be taken. The more at variance from commonly accepted notions an assertion is, the more rigorously it should be documented. Keep the following things in mind:

Be careful with weasel words


Weasel words are a way to give unconfirmable assertions the appearance of fact. "Houston is considered the friendliest city in the world." Really, now. Who says so? Do not use expressions like "is claimed", "is thought to be", and "is alleged," without saying specifically who is doing the claiming, thinking or alleging.

Also, beware of using words of attribution that cast aspersions on the source. This is largely an issue of context; for example,

Standing before the ruins of an exploded apartment building, the military spokesman claimed, "Only military targets were hit."

In this context, the word "claimed" suggests the credulity of the writer. "Said" would have been a more neutral choice. "Alleged", also, in most contexts suggests a statement of questionable veracity.

Attribute facts


When establishing events or actions, reference should be made to a reliable source. Ideally, this would be an independent scholarly work, but most of us don't have access to this kind of material. For most events since 1995, and some before, Web-based news reports can be cited to establish basic facts. These should be from the mainstream media or independent organizations, taking into account that they have their biases as well.

Attribute assertions


When characterizing people, events, or actions, assertions should likewise be attributed to an acceptable source. A regular news story from a mainstream media organization is best, but don't rely on the journalist to report the bias of its sources accurately. Alternatively, a text from conservative or liberal alternative media or a focus group may be cited, provided the source is accurately labeled in neutral terms. For example,

  • The conservative American churchgroup...
  • The liberal anti-war group...
  • The right-wing pro-Israel advocacy group...
  • The radical Islamic group...
  • The indigenous rebel movement...

Identify the possible bias of the source (including organizational, financing, and/or personal ties with interested parties). If the status of the source itself is disputed, it is best to avoid such characterizations altogether; instead, a link to an article on the source, where those conflicting viewpoints are discussed, should be used (if possible). (One example is the much-disputed distinction between a terrorist and a freedom fighter, but other disputes are certainly possible.) In the event that non-centrist points of view are presented, it is desirable to include assertions from multiple perspectives.

Editing procedures


If you contribute to a controversial article then it can be handy to separate the non-controversial contributions from the controversial ones. First make the non-controversial edits and then the (suspected) controversial ones. If the controversial edit is reverted by another contributor then at least the non-controversial edits will be maintained.