Group 4 RfC Proposal and Responses

From Cyberlaw: Internet Points of Control Course Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Another Attempt at Consensus

The original request called for legitimate sources presenting evidence of a valid dispute. It appears to me as if this section contains several sources that qualify. I therefore think that a changed wording to "Waterboarding is an extreme interrogation technique generally considered to be torture." is justified based on the non-fringe opinions evincing a genuine dispute. Opinions? -Lciaccio (talk) 17:39, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Agreed. as per above. -Lciaccio (talk) 17:51, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed. The original article on waterboarding contains a substantial discussion of the current debate on whether waterboarding is torture. Classification as Torture. Given the discussion of the debate in the Wikipedia article itself and the legitimate sources linked to by nom and presented by other commentators, I think modified wording away from "waterboarding is torture" is appropriate. The language proposed by nom modifies "waterboarding is torture" into a less conclusory statement, but retains a strong statement that waterboarding is "generally considered to be torture." Shamulou (talk) 17:48, 8 January 2008 (UTC) Template:SPA
  • Agreed. For the reasons I cite above in Comments on note to the closing admin. In addition, #1 and #4 cite both the BBC and the Wall Street Journal. Both are credible sources that indicate the issue is at least considered to be disputed in at least two countries. Pri2008 (talk) 17:55, 8 January 2008 (UTC) Template:SPA
    • Comment. I agree, these were the sources I found most compelling, despite misgivings about the credibility of some of the other sources cited. I firmly believe waterboarding is torture, but at least these two opposing views are informed and non-fringe, making this an opinion, not fact.. -Lciaccio (talk) 18:18, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Not so bad. But I would prefer a summary description of the practice instead of "extreme interrogation technique" (I used to favor something like that but have been persuaded its not such a good idea for the present). I would also like to see the phrase "generally considered torture" to be a separate sentence stating "It is often considered torture". Partyly, I am not so sure that I agree with "generally" since a fair number of people apparently do not consider it torture. About 2/3 consider it torture. To me that is "often", but not quite "generally". Using the word "often" also implies some sort of temporal aspect to the issue, which many people seem to raise: "how its done and when its done" matters to them when deciding if it is torture. (By the way, thanks for the suggested lead). --Blue Tie (talk) 18:30, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Acceptable. The current language really does need to be changed, if for no other reason than the fact that the existence of the "Classification" sections makes the statement "waterboarding is torture" seem conclusory, regardless of the facts. So long as the word "considered" is included, though, I feel like the point is made that there exists some debate, and given that, the strong presumption from "generally" seems fine. There really DOES seem to be numerically overwhelming consensus (a minority of the citizens of a single country, even a hugely important country, notwithstanding). I'm less sure about "extreme," if only because that's a indisputably subjective term, and probably shouldn't be included in the first line of a Wikipedia article. Although I certainly agree that waterboarding is "extreme," there aren't objective reasons why it must necessarily be considered so. Theokrat (talk) 18:48, 8 January 2008 (UTC) Template:SPA
    • I would also agree to wording that removes the word extreme from the proposal. -Lciaccio (talk) 18:53, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I agree. "Extreme" is a subjective term, and the statement that "waterboarding is an interrogation technique generally considered to be torture" is strong enough without "extreme." Shamulou (talk) 18:57, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
      • I like that change. I also think "generally" is also a subjective term, but I find myself only weakly objecting. The problem I have is that I do not think generally is exactly right, because it conveys the notion of "as a rule". But, on the other hand, what other adverbs are appropriate? "Frequently" almost makes it sound like it might not even be half of the time. The same goes with "often". "Popularly" might almost be more accurate than anything but I am not sure it sounds right to sort of indicate that it is popular for people to be thinking about torture! I do not like the word "generally" as much as I do not like these other words I have mentioned above. The word "widely" seems pretty good and I would favor that. Also, as I have said previously, I think that ultimately the lead should be re-written when the details in the article are right, but I think that this lead is very close to one that might have a consensus. I praise this effort. --Blue Tie (talk) 19:08, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Strong oppose Weasel words: "considered to be". By whom? Newspeak: "interrogation technique". No, waterboarding is verifiably a torture technique, per the reliable sources. Do not change the article from a plain statement of verifiable fact. Wikipedia is not a political battleground. Jehochman Talk 19:33, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
    • They're only weasel words if used in lieu of references. Considering the extensive sources in the article pointing to those who consider it to be torture, that is not the case here. I agree that Wikipedia is not a political battleground, but the change I propose is, in light of the evidence of dispute, the most factual and encyclopedic statement of what waterboarding is. That is what we're aiming for, ne ce pas? -Lciaccio (talk) 20:12, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
    • I think it's inappropriate to classify the question of whether or not something is torture as a 'verifiable fact'. The very nature of the question implicates human conceptions, and it would still be a concept even if there was unanimous agreement. What this proposed change to the lead statement attempts to do is reflect the general direction in which (credible reports of) human conceptions lean, while acknowledging (a) that it is a concept, and (b) that it is not universally shared. Vhettinger (talk) 20:29, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Agreed with the edit that removes the word "extreme" (mainly because in a sentence that includes the word 'torture' the word 'extreme' seems redundant). I slightly prefer 'generally' to 'widely', but don't feel strongly one way or the other. Vhettinger (talk) 19:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC) Template:SPA
  • No. The current lead is fine. "considered to be" is weaselly, "interrogation technique" comes straight out of recent political discourse. Encyclopedias shouldn't be written according to recent political controversies. --Akhilleus (talk) 21:13, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comment The question should be Is it NPOV to state 'Waterboarding is torture,' in the lead sentence of the article when several expert legal authorities state that it is not torture in any case; that it is torture only in some cases; or that they cannot themselves be sure? Ra2007 (talk) 22:02, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
That's like asking "is it NPOV to state 'The 9/11 attacks consisted of a series of coordinated suicide attacks by al-Qaeda' in the lead sentence of the article when several demolition and munition experts state that the attacks may have been carried out by, or with the complicity of, the US government?" Chris Bainbridge (talk) 12:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Or even "is it NPOV to state 'The Holocaust is.. the killing of approximately six million European Jews' in the lead sentence of The Holocaust when some historians say it didn't happen? Chris Bainbridge (talk) 12:25, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

*Disagree The lead seems fine as it right now. As waterboarding fits the definition of torture as there are many sources stating waterboarding as torture, more so than not. Also there is a site devoted to it, with links to legal definitions on what constitutes torture here → GeeAlice â™¥ 04:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC) Hmm, I see this is a class project, from which I am not a part, therefore I strike my "opinion". → GeeAlice â™¥ 05:14, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

This page is NOT a class project. It's a live Wikipedia page. Several editors came here as a class assignment, but that matter has been discussed and resolved. You, and any other editors are welcome to express your opinions. Jehochman Talk 05:20, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose No majority reliable sources that it is considered just an "extreme interrogation technique". The majority say torture. Suggestion doesn't take into account the "debate" of it possibly not being torture is only post-2001. Should be more like "waterboarding was considered torture for hundreds of years, has been prosecuted as torture under international and US law, but after 2001 some American lawyers and politicans tried to justify its use by claiming that it might not be torture." Chris Bainbridge (talk) 12:11, 9 January 2008 (UTC)