Truth at Wikipedia

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  Truth is not the criteria for inclusion of any idea or statement in a Wikipedia article, even if it is on a scientific topic. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true. This is important to bear in mind when writing about topics on which you as a contributor have a strong opinion; you might think that it is a great place to set the record straight and Right Great Wrongs, but that’s not the case. We can record the righting of great wrongs, but we can’t ride the crest of the wave. We cannot be the correctors and educators of the world. You might wish to start a blog or visit a forum if you want to convince people of the merits of your favorite views. See Wikipedia is not a soapbox

Some contributors have tried to get their preferred viewpoint enshrined as "the truth" on subjects dear to their hearts. Topics of great contention in the political and ideological arena have been described by advocates in ways that advance their POV, while condemning opposing POV - or even leaving it out of an article altogther. Often the justification for condemning or leaving out an opposing viewpoint is that it is merely one contributor's POV, even when it is a published one. Or the justification is that opposing viewpoints have no place at all in certain article, on the grounds of undue weight.

NPOV says that the article should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by a reliable source, and should do so in proportion to the prominence of each. But how prominent must an opposing view be, to merit inclusion in an article? Suppose the article is topic of great scientific importance, and a published author disagrees with the scientific mainstream. Should his ideas and arguments be excluded merely because they oppose the mainstream? Would it violate policy to include them, even if they are held only by a minority of experts?

A place for minority views

Certain articles have no place for minority views. The article which describes the shape of the earth simply asserts that it is spherical. The ancient notion that the earth is flat need not mention modern support for the Flat Earth concept. However, the Flat earth article (70 KB) is more than half the size of the Earth article (104 KB). There is no limit on the amount of information we can supply on discredited views.

Articles that compare views should not give minority views as much or as detailed a description as more popular views, and will generally not include tiny-minority views at all. An article on the arms race during the Cold War can describe major ideas about the strategic doctrine of Mutual assured destruction, but it need not describe suggestions that we should all move to a colony in Antarctica or fly to the Moon. Those suggestions are held by too few people to be relevant to the topic. But arguments for and against Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative would not be out of place.

See also