Verifiability (or lack thereof):

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Okay, this got brought up in a PM conversation with someone is that we apparently have schizophrenic standards when it comes to verifiability.

As I mentioned in Content Violations, Sokora Refugees was cut because the work was unpublished and print copies were almost impossible to come by. The logic behind that and other such moves (either deletions or shifts to Darth Wiki) was that we had no way to check the validity of the examples. However, apparently works where the name or other details of the work are not mentioned are apparently kosher, despite failing on the same grounds.

It seems that we would benefit if we could settle on a single policy for cases where a given example or set of examples cannot be looked up by Joe Q. Troper.
Where do you see this? My impression is it is sort of an edge case that isn't really a difficulty for the vast majority of people.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty

I'm not sure what you're asking. The policy for works that become unpublished is to cut them or shunt them to Darth Wiki, and it's been that way for years. (If I recall, it was originally the Foxxy Mod who set down that standard with the Sokora Refugees removal.)

The thing about examples without work names being okay was something that the guy I was chatting with told me you said, Eddie. Either way, the two statements are at odds, so we do need to decide what the best approach is. (In case you hadn't guessed, I prefer simple and clear-cut policies over situational standards.)
Dragon Writer
The policy for works that become unpublished...
... how exactly does a published work go about getting itself un-published?

*runs off to consult his Timey-Wimey Ball*

edited 28th Dec '12 7:03:02 PM by Stratadrake

For starters, online only works that get deleted for some reason, and cannot be recovered or viewed anymore. (Sokora Refugees, being a webcomic, was an example. Good luck finding one of the book collections.) Also, some out of print books will fall into this. (And that's the other half of the Sokora Refugees story.)

edited 28th Dec '12 7:14:22 PM by TotemicHero

6 shimaspawn28th Dec 2012 08:03:57 PM from Here and Now , Relationship Status: In your bunk
This Sokora Refugees? Found it in under five minutes on Google.
Reality is that, which when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away.

-Philip K. Dick
Huh, did not expect that, but then again, I don't normally use Hulu. Well, I guess that tells you how old this issue is. (This is the part where I wish we kept longer edit histories.)

That aside, we still need to settle what to do with this issue, considering this could easily come up again. (Possibly sooner than I'd like, given what's going on with Rusty and Co. right now...)
8 Madrugada28th Dec 2012 11:11:49 PM , Relationship Status: In season
I don't recall making any kind of decision on Sokora Refugees. I don't even know what it is.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
9 AnotherDuck29th Dec 2012 12:39:27 AM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
If it has once been published, it's published. Otherwise we'd have to cut out some historical stories that are only known about, rather than any direct text. Or any book that goes out of sale. Any degree about how easy it is to find them is irrelevant.
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@Maddy: Understandable, since that decision was made a few years back.

@Another Duck: That was my original stance when the whole issue was brought up back then. I got overruled, obviously.
In uffish thought
I know that, should I see an example which doesn't state a source or, worse, says "I can't remember where this happened, but...", I pull it to the discussion page and may make a post in YKTS. Is this acceptable?

As for things which were once published but are no longer available, I'd been under the impression that they were fair game for examples, same as Duck said, but that is an impression which may not line up with policy. Hm, can you give a link, or thread and page range, to where this came up?
12 Fighteer29th Dec 2012 08:43:35 AM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
There have been edge cases where an author has made a deliberate effort to remove their work from public view. We evaluate these on a case by case basis.
Is this about examples from works we won't have on the wiki because of content issues? Tough call. If the example is not prurient or pedopandering in itself, it shouldn't be a big deal.

If it is just about things that go out of "print" or circulation, it is a really tiny issue. It is almost impossible for things to disappear in that fashion anymore. Unless it might be a self-published thing the author has scoured off the 'Net. Ittsy bitsy issue.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty

14 SeptimusHeap29th Dec 2012 10:02:58 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
eta: Due to mistyping: This is about out-of-print or unpublished works.

There is a discussion about cut works in Content Policy Discussion going on.

edited 29th Dec '12 10:03:36 AM by SeptimusHeap

Not entirely. It's about cases where anyone (be they tropers, moderators, or Eddie himself) cannot look at an example, theoretically go obtain/view the work in question, and verify whether that trope is there. (As long as we can verify that the work's available, standard procedure has been to assume good faith unless otherwise proven.) While unpublished works are probably the majority of those cases, any example written vaguely that doesn't give enough information to do so also qualifies.

Also, with the basic fact that the majority of fiction is trending towards digital, it becomes more and more likely works can be "scoured", as Eddie put it. As of right now, you can't verify anything about Rusty and Co.., and depending on how the legal stuff falls it may remain that way.

16 AnotherDuck29th Dec 2012 04:47:22 PM from Stockholm , Relationship Status: In season
No, the other one.
We don't have a [citation needed] standard (except for one or few problem tropes, I believe, but even then only as a last option), though, which is essentially what it is if you demand verifiability.

Rusty and Co. shouldn't have any problems continuing to exist as a page. Out of sight, but not out of mind.
Check out my fanfiction!
17 TotemicHero1st Jan 2013 10:06:41 AM from the next level
This issue gets weirder, considering I just found out one of the mods made a post on Ask The Tropers stating that work examples that don't name the work should be met with a fired chainsaw, so to speak. (Eddie saying that such examples were okay is why I made this thread in the first place.)

When different mods/admins are advocating different policies, we really do have a problem.
18 SeptimusHeap1st Jan 2013 10:11:18 AM from Laniakea , Relationship Status: Mu
A Wizard boy
Are you sure it's not a false dilemma? Eddie's been talking about examples with a work to name. Fighteer on Ask The Tropers was talking about examples without works.
19 TotemicHero1st Jan 2013 10:17:43 AM from the next level
Well, all I can say was that original conversation that started this was about an example that did not name the work. (I can't say more without being getting an okay from a mod to share more PM details, since that's against the forum rules.) I'll post on that ATT topic to get those people to come here and discuss it.
20 Willbyr1st Jan 2013 11:43:52 AM from North Little Rock, AR , Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
AFAIK it's never been kosher to have an example that doesn't at least pothole the work it's from; stating it outright is preferred, though.

edited 1st Jan '13 11:44:43 AM by Willbyr

21 AlexSora891st Jan 2013 12:00:41 PM from Piedmont, Italy
Myself, as drawn by me.
Just found out about this on Ask The Tropers, and I think this is actually quite an issue we've got here - I mean, it's not a serious issue now, but it has buttloads of potential to eventually become one in the future.

While seeing Unpublished Works treated as Darth Wiki items is kind of derogatory, it nonetheless reminds us that, while we don't have to have strict verifiability standards, we also should have some. For example, I often see something interesting in some tropes' "Comic Books" folders and then end up in long Wiki Walks in the scans_daily website, either to provide a link or just out of sheer curiosity. I don't know if the "un-sourced" Comic Book examples' scenario I provided is as much of an important case as the others presented in this thread, but I think it nonetheless counts as an example of what verifiability standards should prevent in the first place.

I think we should have some of these standards, while also not going "Citation needed" because comparisons to Wikipedia are already all over the place as-is.
I'm from Piedmont. No relation with Piedmon, mind you!
Citing the work is good. I suppose you could have an example that is not from a work, one that has been created to illustrate the trope. You'd find those in the body of the description.

"Verifiablity" I think is an Other Wiki thing. Doesn't matter much to us. The example just illustrates how a trope is used.

In fact, we do have a few non-existent works around that get citations just for the fun of it. This isn't academia.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty

23 Fighteer1st Jan 2013 12:10:29 PM from the Time Vortex , Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
Look, it's one thing to cite a nonexistent work for an example, if it's Just for Fun. But an example that doesn't cite a work, extant or not, is not an example. That's right up there in How to Write an Example: "State the source".

Verifiability may not be a primary objective of the wiki, but identifying the source of an example is the Number One thing that a wiki must have in order to function as a wiki.

This strikes me as so mind-bogglingly obvious that I'm frankly astonished it's even a topic of discussion.

Edit: Looking at the Ask The Tropers conversation about this, I'd say that if a trope page has a very specific example, such as "In a sci-fi short story from the 1950's, a guy goes to Mars and meets a beautiful princess," it would be something that you'd want to take to You Know That Show to find someone who can source it. If there's enough information to allow it to qualify as an example, someone ought to know what it's from.

edited 1st Jan '13 1:06:02 PM by Fighteer

24 Madrugada1st Jan 2013 12:38:58 PM , Relationship Status: In season
I'm with Fighteer, especially on his last point. That sort of example should be relatively easy to find the source for, either in You Know That Show, or by asking on the discussion page and/or in an appropriate Media sub-forum thread.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
25 AlexSora891st Jan 2013 02:13:05 PM from Piedmont, Italy
Myself, as drawn by me.
[up] I know. What I was talking about was this kind of examples:

... et cetera. Saying either which episode, which issue or which chapter respectively would help a lot. What makes Tv Tropes so unique is, as far as my own experience with this site goes anyway, how each example of each trope makes the users go "I know, right?" while reading them. Sure, Thread Mode is not our thing, but we do have some feedback, although it's never stated.
I'm from Piedmont. No relation with Piedmon, mind you!

Total posts: 91
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