Last modified on 17 June 2012, at 19:13

Wikibooks:NPOV dispute

NPOV (Neutral Point Of View) content, is one that has been written without advocating a particular viewpoint on a subjective issue. This is especially important when dealing with controversial issues. In a neutral representation, the content is constructed in such a way none of the pertinent differing points of view are prominently presented. Wikibooks content needs to be based in facts not falsehoods, opinions or judgments.

"Neutral point of view" should not be confused with "point of view espoused by an international body such as the United Nations"; writing in NPOV style requires recognizing that even widely held or widely respected points of view are not necessarily all-encompassing.

Tagging non-NPOV contentEdit

Modules under NPOV dispute are listed in Category:NPOV disputes. An NPOV label not only indicates that the content is perceived as biased (not conforming to a neutral point of view) by one or more Wikibookians, but that consensus on the expressed views is lacking. Should consensus be reached, the content is fixed or deleted.

If you find content that you think is biased, you can add {{npov}} to the top of the page and leave a note with your rationale on the talk page. The label is meant to indicate that a discussion is ongoing, and hence that the module contents are disputed and volatile.

Resolving NPOV disputesEdit

Wikibooks is best served by trying to present a fair, neutral description of the facts — among which are the facts that various interpretations and points of view exist (of course, there are limits to what POVs are considered worth mentioning, which can be an area of conflict). Those criticizing content as biased, often do so on grounds that viewpoints are expressed as facts. In this case, citing sources to back these facts should solve the dispute.

There may also be a disagreement over what the facts represent. It should be noted that factual statements do not equal neutral statements. Neutrality implies presenting competing versions fairly. Personal conviction has no relevance. If a significant number of other interested parties really does disagree with us, no matter how wrong we think they are, the discussion will be recast as a fair presentation of the dispute between the parties.

Wording (including page titles), selective use of viewpoints or undue weight given to one are also versions of bias. This may be a harmless case of a book being still in progress, or limited expertise on the behalf of current contributors. Adding the missing content or making a note of it (for example in the {{npov}} template) would constitute an acceptable interim solution.

If content that you think is objective has been tagged with the template message, don't panic. Views differ, and Wikibooks caters to everyone. As long as the content complies with Wikibooks:What is Wikibooks and can be backed by sources, there should be a way to represent it in a way that is fair to all sides. It may be tricky and compromises are probably needed, but it should be manageable. Keep in mind that no edit is irreversible. All versions are in the page history. Be civil and assume good faith.

See alsoEdit