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The following debate is in relation to the inclusion of websites such as and in the "Reception" section of episode articles.

Initial Discussion (from NFA) Edit

Moved from Memory Alpha:Nominations for featured articles#"Melora"

  • Support - this is an excellent article. The background information is comprehensive, well-written, and properly cited. It's also well-illustrated, which is always a plus.
I don't like the and notes though. Having information that quickly gets out of date (both have gained an additional vote in the meantime) isn't good, and I don't like the statement "As of March 2011" which suggests that this would have to be changed every month. I think we should stick to sources with a static rating.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 05:48, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

Firstly, thank you for your support, Cleanse! Those were some nice comments. As for the note, I would argue that many encyclopedias do have information which may go out of date and therefore use the line "As of ---,", the most notable of which would be Wikipedia (though I know, we're not Wikipedia! :) ). The other reason I added it was to give some fan/viewer feedback on the episode. If you see, I added two "majority vote" notes and two major fan website reviews so as to give more of a broader reflection of the feeling about this episode. It doesn't have to be updated every month, the "As of" line tells the reader that the information may be a little old, but there's nothing stopping anyone who wants to, to update it there and then. However, saying that, if it's going to be a major sticking point, then I don't think it would make too much difference to the article. Let's see what everyone else thinks. --| TrekFan Open a channel 10:56, April 13, 2011 (UTC)

Comment - I've never been a fan of having links to "fan websites" as for ratings. We should only use proper journalistic sources for those. -- sulfur 11:36, April 13, 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I feel that this article doesn't meet the FA criteria "undisputed & stable", since both I and TrekFan do believe that is valid as a source, whereas others clearly do not. That's fine, of course; everyone's entitled to their own opinion. :) --Defiant 11:36, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
With respect, I think that vote is very premature. The fact that a minor issue has been raised, of which users in a very brief discussion expressed contrary views, does not instantly make the article "disputed" and "unstable". Particularly when there have been no edits to the article regarding the issue. Let's wait more than two days before declaring that, eh?
I should also note that my support was notwithstanding that issue. So it's pretty weird that you are essentially blocking the article because it contains a note you like...–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 12:40, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
Comment - Just to clarify, I'm not opposing it on the grounds of stability, only the "disputed" part of "undisputed & stable". My opposing vote is in direct accordance with the FA nomination criteria. Sorry if you don't like that. --Defiant 13:28, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
BTW, since when did the indenting of this page change from being its own, unique system to the same system used by regular talk pages? I'm not questioning the rightfulness of this change; just wondering when it was made, that's all. --Defiant 13:32, April 14, 2011 (UTC)

I'm just of the opinion that we always have a lot of production "reception" notes (i.e. what the producer/writer/actor/director thought) and very little information on how it was received amongst the viewers. These websites do that. And it's not as if we are talking about a shoddy, created-in-five-seconds, fan-made website, here. These are well-established and moderated sites that collate user opinion by means of online polls and rating systems. Having 2 "majority" vote sites and 2 "established reviewers" sites gives more of a well-rounded feel to what viewers thought of the episode in question. I don't think you could classify and as "fansites" albeit fans do use them. --| TrekFan Open a channel 17:53, April 14, 2011 (UTC)

Agreed. The reasons I started off using as a source was because I saw that wikipedia uses it as a source for their article about "Scorpion" (though, like TrekFan, I know this ain't wp!), and that the vast number of votes cast indicates a likelihood that the rankings usually take a long time (and a lot of voters) to change. --Defiant 18:00, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
In-detail discussion about the pros and cons of having that information should probably be moved back to the discussion page of that article - but, for what it's worth: I think that it's something we should not have in our episode articles. First of all, it wouldn't make sense to have this in one episode article but not the other ~750 articles about episodes or movies - but having it on all those articles, with an "As of <DATE>" statement, means that all these articles would need to be updated regularly. Whoever argues that this is important information should also be willing to update this information each month - or accept that it is information that people will have to look for elsewhere.
Second, and not less important, I agree with the opinion that "fan-based" voting on some website is not something of importance. Online voting is generally unreliable, with people able to vote several times, or only willing to vote at all if they think that an episode totally sucks or is the best of all times. I don't see the benefit of having that listed on episode pages. -- Cid Highwind 18:51, April 14, 2011 (UTC)
  • [edit conflict] Support, thought the fan websites need to go. Most established reviewer websites have a majority rank as well, and finding that info isn't that hard. That said, this is hardly an issue that should stop this from becoming an FA. - Archduk3 18:56, April 14, 2011 (UTC)

Since it's clear the issue is not one that would preclude the article from FA status, I would propose that we ignore it for this voting process and take it up on the article talk page later? That is, unless Defiant or anyone else has an issue with doing that. --| TrekFan Open a channel 07:00, April 15, 2011 (UTC)

I checked out the rest of the article yesterday and was impressed, so I'd already decided to remove my opposing vote prior to you leaving the above post, TrekFan. Good work! :) --Defiant 10:35, April 15, 2011 (UTC)

Is that a supporting vote, Defiant? --| TrekFan Open a channel 11:58, April 15, 2011 (UTC)

  • Actually, I do strongly believe that if article content is considered controversial during an FA nomination, it might as well be dealt with before making the article an FA. Especially if that article content might otherwise have consequences for a huge number of other articles (as in: "See how that article with fan votes became an FA? I think we should add it to all other episode articles!" - or: "We mustn't remove this information, the article became an FA when it had the information, after all!"). Just to avoid such trouble later on, I'm going to Oppose this one until that link has been dealt with. -- Cid Highwind 12:35, April 15, 2011 (UTC)
  • I was going to not vote, and let that speak for itself, but I will also vote oppose as long as content is in dispute.--31dot 12:50, April 15, 2011 (UTC)
Comment, truth to be told, I'm with 31dot on this one. While the article in itself is excellent (I, as a stickler for background info, particulary like the way it is composed from multiple sources), fully warranting a FA status, I'm very weary of third party opinions. MA is not about an ongoing popularity contest in my humble opinion; It has no place here; It is after the fact consumer opinion, no matter how well formulated, and as the saying goes, "Opinions are like a****s, everyone's got one". It only has a place when it commented upon in (licensed) reference works, after the dust has settled. To put them on the same level as the "producer/writer/actor/director" is wholy unwarranted and unjustified I think, as they were the creators of a particular production and as such influenced the final outcome we were served with.--Sennim 18:11, April 15, 2011 (UTC)
So, info about awards won (such as Emmys) is irrelevant and should not be included either?! How about the quotations from Beyond the Final Frontier that TrekFan's been adding to episode articles? Should they be disallowed, since they're from an unauthorized publication? Guys, I'm starting to feel like, whatever I do, I basically can't win here! I was criticized for keeping an "oppose" vote on the account of the disputed ratings bit of the article and, now that I've removed my opposing vote, I've been criticized for doing that. I don't see any reason why the issue with the ratings couldn't have been brought up when I suggested using as a source back when TrekFan had "Visionary" as an FA nomination. --Defiant 03:19, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

I'm totally with you, Defiant. I thought the sign of a good background section was to get as many different sourced (and relevant) information in there. I have been adding a lot of stuff lately, from a variety of different sources (including David S. Cohen's book Screen Plays - How 25 Scripts Made it to a Theater Near You, which contains information on "Destiny") and I think it's nice to have varying opinions on the subject. I wholeheartedly agree that behind-the-scene production info should take priority (which it has in this case), but a couple of (very short) points about the viewer reception (from reliable websites - not 2 minute jobs) also serves to give a more rounded feel of how the episode was received. What about episodes that were received really well by the production team, yet the viewers hated it? If we don't include viewer reception, then are we not being one-sided? --| TrekFan Open a channel 09:00, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

The issue is that there has to be some limit as to what we consider a reputable source. Taken to absurdity, your assumption that we should collect every single source would mean that every message board post ever should be mentioned. :-) So the point is that we're disagreeing just how low we should go. I don't think this has been established definitively before now.
Everyone, I assume, agrees that the opinions of production staff are relevant no matter which medium they are expressed in. By virtue of their involvement their opinions are highly relevant and worthy of note. I think everyone also believes that opinions in books and journal articles are okay, as are statements that an episode won this or that award. That books and journals may be unauthorised is irrelevant, and with respect I think Sennim confused matters on that point.
What is controversial is this recent addition of fan opinion aggregate sites. The thing is that most of us don't think they are actually representative at all. So I don't think they do much to counter any "producer" bias. In addition, having such notes on 700+ pages either means lots of maintenance, or (much more likely) lots of notes that went out of date years ago. Notes about what books, journals, DVD special features etc. say can be posted and remain true indefinitely. A note that says " says this" cannot.–Cleanse ( talk | contribs ) 10:31, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

I understand what you're saying, Cleanse. By all means, I was not suggesting that every message board post be included. That would be insane. My argument is that the notes in question are small bullet points that show ratings/scores, nothing more. There are no personal comments/opinions (unique to one person) or the like in them. Aside from that, your argument on updating them is a good one and I would agree that it will take a little bit of work, but they don't need to be updated every month. I would say maybe once a year, if that. The point is they show some information representing how the episode was received by the viewers, and this is not likely to change dramatically over a period of time - maybe a vote or two here and there. Also, as I said above, there is nothing stopping anyone (if they want to, anon or otherwise) updating it after reading the episode article. I don't believe this would be more work than, say, updating an actor page or a current production (such as the Star Trek Into Darkness or a novel, for example), or even changing dead links to the WBM template. The point is, as an encyclopedia, we are bound to have information that goes out of date unless it's updated. It's inevitable. --| TrekFan Open a channel 10:45, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

Comment: an alternative might be to use only (the least "fansite" of the lot, as far as I can see!) and to use it only on featured articles, keeping the info to a minimum. I agree with TrekFan's above post, though; it seems a bit silly to purposefully avoid info that needs updating, as we do have pages like Star Trek Into Darkness. --Defiant 10:53, April 16, 2011 (UTC)
The issue is not just "purposefully avoiding info that needs updating", it is such information that is nothing but fan opinions. That's not what we're about. I could start a website in the next five minutes to collect that kind of information. How do you decide which site to include and which not to(because when others see one such site, they will demand that their favorite fan-opinion site be included) --31dot 11:03, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

Well, is run by CBS which airs Star Trek? Is that not a valid connection? --| TrekFan Open a channel 11:35, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

CBS's official viewership information or Nielsen ratings(a viewership measure) of an episode are valid, and that info is in some reference works. I would be more skeptical of CBS/its subsidiaries surveying fans for their opinions as such surveys are not scientific. --31dot 12:08, April 16, 2011 (UTC)
I would not be in favor of limiting any such site to just FA's, as if it is good enough for a FA it is good enough for any page.--31dot 12:11, April 16, 2011 (UTC)
Restricting the information to FA articles would actually be worse than just generally allowing it - it would be a statement about this type of information being "so good that each FA article needs to have it". If that was the case, we would have a pretty hard time explaining why we don't want this "good information" on every article. -- Cid Highwind 16:48, April 16, 2011 (UTC)
Since this conversation is now more about "what info can be included in all articles" rather than "the info specifically in this article", I suggest the disputed notes be removed to the article talk page for now, and the general conversation on the subject of fan site ratings be moved to a forum post. This would allow the FA nomination to proceed unhindered by the larger issue that now has little do with the actual article in question. - Archduk3 18:50, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

That seems like a good idea, Archduk3. At least then we can continue the debate without holding back the FA nomination process. --| TrekFan Open a channel 19:57, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

I think you might misunderstand the suggestion. While I'd welcome to split the general discussion from the FA nomination, and in fact suggested as much earlier, the very idea of an "oppose" vote is to "hold back the nomination". The information in question could be removed from the article, which would sort of "invalidate" the opposing votes - it should just be clear that this way out mustn't be used to "game the system" by removing the information in question now and add it to the article again later, after it has become an FA. That would be really cheap. -- Cid Highwind 21:24, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

I don't believe I misunderstand the suggestion at all. Isn't Archduk3 proposing we remove the information now, continue with the nomination and debate the inclusion of the information on the talk page/in the forum? If the debate decides to incorporate the information in the articles then it will be re-added. If not, then it won't. I was not planning on "gaming the system" at all. I took it as a happy compromise so we can get on with this nomination. Please correct me if that is not what he was proposing. --| TrekFan Open a channel 21:33, April 16, 2011 (UTC) Addendum: I have now moved this conversation to the forum and removed the debated information from the article and onto the article's talk page until we can come to some sort of resolution on the subject. I would invite everyone to re-cast their vote on the nominations page now that it has been cleared of the debate. Any further objections about the article itself can be discussed there. --| TrekFan Open a channel 22:13, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

Hypothetical situation:
  1. People don't want to have a specific information on a "Featured Article" - because those articles are supposed to be "the best we have", and that information, in their eyes, is not.
  2. They use their "veto right" during that FA nomination - FA process has been specifically designed to have that, to make sure that everyone who thinks that some article is "not the best" can have a say without being cast away by some majority vote or similar.
  3. Information gets removed, then article becomes FA.
  4. Information is then re-added through some process that does not allow for vetoing.
Result: A Featured Article that contains information that people should have been allowed to oppose - this is "gaming the system", and should either not be attempted in the first place, or the FA process be altered to "protect" it against such. -- Cid Highwind 22:16, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I'm too tired to understand what you are saying at the moment. I'll repost when I've let my brain rest for a few hours! Until then, this is TrekFan signing off! :) --| TrekFan Open a channel 22:25, April 16, 2011 (UTC)

First off, let me thank you Cid for again assuming that when I suggest something that was pretty much your idea in the first place, there's some nefarious intent behind it. That really speaks to how much any of your ideas should be trusted in the first place.
That said, I'm pretty sure your hypothetical situation is flawed, as the step where some admin comes by and reverts the clearly unsanctioned addition was skipped. That step would continue straight up to the locking of the article, since right now, the majority, if not an actual consensus, including both of us, are against the addition of the information in question. - Archduk3 22:44, April 16, 2011 (UTC)
And a shout-out to my special friend Archduk3, who as always seems to assume that everything I do I do to ruin his wiki experience (please imagine crazy Bond villain laughter at this point) - even when I'm talking to a completely different user at the moment... -- Cid Highwind 22:57, April 16, 2011 (UTC)
Since I have a hard time imagining things down here in my Strangelove bunker, I simply can't see whose suggestion that good chap TrekFan could have "misunderstood" if not my own, or should I say my reinterpretation of Cid's earlier suggestion, and it certainly was implied that this suggestion and said misunderstanding could lead to such underhanded cheap tricks like gaming the system, as if we two fine, upstanding gentlemen were so many poker playing hounds. A truly dastardly suggestion and image. I also find it prudent and necessary to point out that I am not so full of myself as to think that our very special friend Cid is out to ruin just my wiki experience; I feel very strongly that his efforts ruin everyone's wiki experience, and that he will continue to do so for the foreseeable future on any number of topics. None of this is here or there though, so let me just state simply that I firmly believe that the addition of fan website ratings or rankings would create a vast logistical problem while introducing a fairly unencyclopedic element. - Archduk3 08:10, April 17, 2011 (UTC)
In case it kinda got lost above, I will again say that I oppose inclusion of any unscientific fan-opinion surveys/rankings as unencyclopedic.--31dot 08:42, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

I must say, Cid, you weren't really assuming good faith when you accused me of "misunderstanding" to "game the system." I don't even know what gave you that impression. I will say it here again, to avoid any misunderstanding - I thought Archduk3's suggestion was a good compromise for the time being, that will allow us to discuss inclusion of said information and come to some sort of conclusion, while allowing the FA nomination for "Melora" to go ahead unhindered. There was no intention to "game" AT ALL. I was not going to re-add the information once the nomination had passed, unless we had agreed to in this discussion, here. I know I'm not the most popular person when it comes to suggesting things at MA, but I don't do it to "be a pain." I do it because it's my opinion and I am exercising my right to voice it. Sometimes I think people, especially those who have been here a while, take it personally, that I am attacking "their" Memory Alpha (btw, I started editing in 2006!). This is not the case. I am a firm believer that change can be a good thing. It stops us getting bogged down in old policies and methods and helps us to remain "fresh." Whether you believe me or not, everything I do and say is with the best of intentions and for the good of Memory Alpha. If I argue something it's because I believe in it and want to get my point across, in true democratic way (after all, we're not a dictatorship...are we?). I know my opinions don't always tally with yours, but ask yourself these few questions: does TrekFan go around vandalising articles? Does TrekFan blank pages without reason? Is TrekFan rude/agressive to other users? Think about it and look at my user page for my contributions, and THEN accuse me of "gaming the system." Sorry to have gone on so long (and off-topic!) but it's only fair I get a chance to "defend" myself. --| TrekFan Open a channel 09:34, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Do you, or anyone else for that matter, really think that it's any different for me? That I do anything with some crazy malicious intent instead of my personal variant of "for the good of MA"? That what I say is not really "my opinion which I have a right to voice" but that I say it against better judgement just for the fun of imagining people I don't even know peeved at it? It's not that way, I can assure you - and since there apparently is consensus regarding the topic of this page, I think I might as well add some more notes about the "accusations" that went back and forth.
"Gaming the system" is an established term on Wikipedia. The term describes ways of "deliberately using Wikipedia policies and guidelines in bad faith to thwart the aims of Wikipedia. Gaming the system may represent an abuse of process, disruptive editing, or otherwise evading the spirit of community consensus. Editors typically game the system to make a point, to further an edit war, or to enforce a specific non-neutral point of view."
So far, so good - or not, if you already feel accused of "behaving in bad faith" at this moment. The description goes on, though: "If an editor finds a loophole or trick that allows them to evade community standards, it should not be treated the same as a good faith mistake. However, Wikipedia sanctions are meant to be preventative, not punitive. A warning from an administrator is usually the best way to prevent gaming, because a clear warning should help correct both good faith mistakes and bad faith games. If an editor ignores a warning and repeats their behavior, or if they find new creative ways to achieve the same disruption, it is more likely that they are gaming the system in bad faith." (all quotes from [1])
This "clear warning" was what I was going for - "Going on like this can be considered gaming the system in hindsight - so, do something else if this is not what you had in mind (good faith), or consider your cover blown if it is (bad faith)." - no hard accusations here, just being upfront about the possibilities.
In that light, it would have been so much better to not split the discussion right after you've asked some questions and for corrections, but actually wait for the answers. I would also have been fair to split the discussion in a way that kept the oppose votes where they belong, and not remove them from the nomination page (forcing people to "re-oppose", as has already happened). Last but not least, it would be great to acknowledge how removing some decision-making from a "harder" to a "softer" process might "look strange", without the whole lament. -- Cid Highwind 11:29, April 17, 2011 (UTC)

Further discussion (after move) Edit

Some points against having the results of running online polls on our episode articles (or, any article, for that matter):

  • It's an administrative nightmare - this has been brought up before, and is still true: having this on one episode article means it would be OK to have on every episode article. That's ~750 articles total. To keep that information up-to-date, we'd have to edit it regularly. I mentioned "once a month" above, others seem to think that something between 2-4 times a year should be enough. While I don't share that opinion, I can still do the math, and come to the conclusion that no one will do that day in, day out, from now until eternity. This information will become outdated fast - and before we add such information, we should make sure it's important or valuable at all.
  • It's not valuable - online polls are notoriously unscientific. They don't poll a "random part" of the audience, but only those that are interested in visiting such pages, registering there, voting there. There were 439 votes on, and 150(!) on, which is hardly representative. I checked a random few other episodes, and couldn't find any with much more votes than that. Even 10,000 votes would still be much less than 1% of the total audience of any random Trek episode. Fact is, it is not important, not encyclopedic what a random 400 guys on the internet think about some Trek episode.
  • The whole "we're not a link farm" debate. Even if we decided that not being able to handle it wasn't important, and even if we decided that we can ignore scientific problems as well, there would still be the question: why that page and not one of the dozen others that surely exists, polling for opinions on TV episodes and films? Why not IMDb, for example?

-- Cid Highwind 20:22, April 18, 2011 (UTC)

I'll second that.--31dot 20:30, April 18, 2011 (UTC)

Policy Edit

So the question now is "where is the line drawn between encyclopedic ratings and reviews, and unencyclopedic stuff?" I think there should be an addition to the canon policy, aka the resource policy, so we don't have the same discussion all over again. The original Nielsen ratings are obviously relevant, but are the current ones? Is Rotten Tomatoes encyclopedic or unencyclopedic? Thoughts? - Archduk3 18:41, April 29, 2011 (UTC)

Definitely encyclopedic, IMO; it's acceptable on wp, therefore being encyclopedic by name & by nature! --Defiant 01:01, April 30, 2011 (UTC)
If we use RT, then we stick with the critics. Not the "general viewer" stuff. -- sulfur 01:26, April 30, 2011 (UTC)
It would be nice if the statement of "it's encyclopedic!" was backed up by some arguments better than "some other website does it, too". I think I've given enough reasons against it already, but maybe I could explain some more: what does "encyclopedic" even mean? To me, it means "worthy of being included in an encyclopedia" - and to be worthy of that, some information needs to be verifiable first, and of some importance second. In the case of opinion, it also needs to be the opinion of "someone who counts" (for example, we're trying to exclude our own opinion from articles because we, as single persons, do not have opinions that matter much).
Those online poll results would probably pass the first test - although there's still the problem of them being outdated after a while. What about the second, though? An online poll about the quality of TNG episode 1x23, started about two and a half decades after that episode premiered, taken by a handful of strangers from the net (=not "someone who counts"), is of no importance whatsoever. Nielsen ratings, on the other hand, were important at the time, because they influenced the decision to renew or not renew a show. It is also a "representative opinion", and not one that is biased one way or another by polling only those people that are fans of the show anyway. So, those poll results are not encyclopedic enough to be included across all of our articles. -- Cid Highwind 10:29, April 30, 2011 (UTC) your opinion, which – as you've admitted – doesn't count for much! --Defiant 13:52, April 30, 2011 (UTC)

The reason I specifically asked about RT is because we already use it here, where it seems that in the year or so since it was added the percentage has dropped by 1. We seem to be using the "all critics" (288 votes) rating too, which is only 1% higher then the "top critics" (42 votes) anyway, but is higher than the audience rating, which has nearly 594,000 votes. I agree with sulfur that if we are going to use them, it should be the critics first and foremost, since all the reviews on RT would at least be similar to what those critics published in their respective publications. That said, I wanted to address the general reviews in this case since the reasoning, that I agree with, has been small poll size and bias makes them unencyclopedic. Is there some magic number where the poll's bias is considered negligible, since at half a million votes I'm at least considering the rating noteworthy, if not necessarily what I think others would find encyclopedic. - Archduk3 14:27, April 30, 2011 (UTC)

@Defiant: It would be appreciated if you didn't try disqualifying yourself from this discussion by deliberately misinterpreting others. I said that individual (yes, including mine) opinion doesn't matter as article content - not that it doesn't matter when talking about article content.
@Archduk: The article you linked to doesn't contain a link to its source - can you provide one? That said, judging by your description, using a "critics only" result instead of some "Joe Q. Public" result sounds sensible, because we'd at least have "professional opinion" instead of a random one. That would also go back to the "someone that counts" idea I brought up, because a published review may lead to more or less people viewing the movie in the time following - something that some internet Joe with a "0/5 - this movie sux!!1" opinion probably won't achieve. Regarding number of votes, I think that alone can't be a good metric - we'd need to make sure that those aren't duplicate votes, too. -- Cid Highwind 16:05, April 30, 2011 (UTC)

Link: Star Trek. Links to RT default to the all critics results it seems, and the top critics and public results are just a click any. That said, if we are linking to these sites, we should template then a la {{}}, so if anyone wants to go through them and make sure they're correct, it will be easy to find them. Not that I think old films or shows would change that much since new critics aren't likely to review them, which is what I assume was the reason for the 1% difference a year later. - Archduk3 21:51, April 30, 2011 (UTC)

I get you now, Cid Highwind. Thanks for that clarification, as I did misunderstand you at first (not deliberately and, since you didn't have proof that my misunderstanding was deliberate, I don't appreciate your accusation that it was, but thanks for clearing up my confusion). --Defiant 23:58, April 30, 2011 (UTC)
Templating is a good idea in case we're going for a specific small set of "review sites". It may also make an explicit addition to our policies unnecessary - I'd hate to see a very specific ruling to be added there, so if a policy change is really necessary, it should make the general idea ("no opinion") more explicit and not just state that, for example, "RT is prefered to some other review site". -- Cid Highwind 17:03, May 1, 2011 (UTC)

The policy change I had in mind would be this: "Reviews and ratings from professional, published sources are acceptable as background information, while public reviews and rating polls are not. For example, reviews and ratings by critics on review aggregator websites like Rotten Tomatoes are acceptable, while reviews and ratings from the "audience" are not. - Archduk3 17:24, May 1, 2011 (UTC)

I definitely think we should at least include info about, say, a fan poll rating if it's from (but not necessarily conducted by) a professional, published source. --Defiant 22:25, May 1, 2011 (UTC)
Please explain what exactly would be a "professional, published source" in this context, and what "from" is supposed to mean if it's something else than "conducted by". -- Cid Highwind 00:19, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
Well, an example might be the sentence in the "Projections" article that reads, "A contemporaneous fan poll, to which executive producer Jeri Taylor paid particular attention, ranked this installment as the third highest-rated episode of the second season." This comes from the officially licensed magazine Star Trek: Communicator issue 108, p. 18. Does that make it any clearer? --Defiant 00:33, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

Since it comes from a "professional, published source," I think the wording of the purposed change to the policy already covers that. - Archduk3 04:12, May 2, 2011 (UTC)

In your example, it is not really the result of an online poll that gets added to an article, though. Instead, what is being added is a citable excerpt from a published article, talking about some poll. If that's all you were referring to, OK - but then again, that would already be possible now, because we weren't talking about removing all references to polls (even circumstantial ones) in general, but about directly using results of random online polls here without the detour of an already "valid resource" citing such poll result...
I was afraid that "professional, published source" was supposed to refer to those websites that started the discussion - because that would open too many loopholes in the suggested policy change. -- Cid Highwind 09:13, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
Personally, it all gets too confusing for me (even that last post!). Anyways, I'll salvage from it the little I can understand - that the example would be allowed and that another example, such as the theoretical results of a poll conducted by, say, Star Trek Magazine (and published in their magazine) would also be acceptable. The main reason why I've been arguing for the inclusion of fan polls is that I thought... surely, fan opinion other than Neilsen ratings would be acceptable. If my examples are acceptable, then I'm happy! :) --Defiant 09:46, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
As for the current online fan polls (such as from GEOS and, we should decide whether it matters that they are encyclopedic or that we, as a community, want them to be encyclopedic, since the polls from Rotten Tomatoes are factually encyclopedic yet that's not what (some) people here want to believe! --Defiant 10:01, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
Your second example is totally different from the first one, because the first one is already filtered through "particular attention" by some producer - whereas the second one would just be yet another random polling of random people. Of course, just because some specific poll result is "allowed" by our rules doesn't mean it needs to be, and stay, in an article - that would need to be decided through the standard process of copyediting, and I'm not sure how that specific example you gave is really noteworthy enough.
Still a big "NO" for random fan poll results being used directly. -- Cid Highwind 10:28, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
Well, I disagree and don't understand this sentence: "Just because some specific poll result is 'allowed' by our rules doesn't mean it needs to be, and stay, in an article - that would need to be decided through the standard process of copyediting, and I'm not sure how that specific is really noteworthy enough." Care to further explain what you mean? For example, what "specific"?! And isn't that in direct contradiction with the FA guideline that insists that all FAs should be as complete as possible?! --Defiant 13:01, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
Oops - seems as if I've lost a phrase, there. I have now added "example you gave" after "specific", hope that clears it up a little. Regarding the other sentence you didn't understand (although you still managed to disagree with it?) - what I meant is that this suggested policy change should not be understood as a list of "must-haves" for an article. Even if we generally allowed the inclusion of poll results, that should not mean that every poll result that happens to exist in this world absolutely must be included in an article. Generally speaking, if some piece of information is "allowed" but still boring, trivial and without consequence for anything else - why bloat an article by adding such? The completeness criterion of the FA guideline (which, BTW, is not what we're talking about here) should obviously not be understood as "every last bit of information about a topic, even if trivial and boring" - if it was meant that way, we would no longer be able to nominate FA at all, because we can obviously never be sure whether we know everything about some topic. -- Cid Highwind 13:41, May 2, 2011 (UTC)
Okay. Yeah, I agree with all of that and, again, thanks for the clarification. :) --Defiant 14:42, May 2, 2011 (UTC)