MagicPedia:Biographies of living persons

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MagicPedia policy on Biographies of living persons

MagicPedia follows the Wikipedia guidelines for living persons.

Editors must take particular care adding biographical material about a living person to any MagicPedia page. Such material requires a high degree of sensitivity, and must adhere strictly to all applicable laws in the United States and to all of our content policies

Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced - whether the material is negative, positive, or just questionable - should be removed immediately and without waiting for discussion.

Biographies of living persons must be written conservatively, with regard for the subject's privacy. MagicPedia is an encyclopedia, not a tabloid paper; it is not our job to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives. The possibility of harm to living subjects is one of the important factors to be considered when exercising editorial judgment.

The burden of evidence for any edit on MagicPedia rests with the person who adds or restores material, and this is especially true for material regarding living persons. Therefore, an editor should be able to demonstrate that such material complies with all MagicPedia content policies and guidelines.

Persons are assumed living unless there is a good reason to believe otherwise. (For example, persons born prior to 1887 can be safely assumed dead for all reasonable purposes.)

Presumption in favor of privacy

Wikipedia articles that present material about living people can affect their subjects' lives. Wikipedia editors who deal with these articles have a responsibility to consider the legal and ethical implications of their actions when doing so. It is not Wikipedia's purpose to be sensationalist, or to be the primary vehicle for the spread of titillating claims about people's lives. Biographies of living persons must be written conservatively, with regard for the subject's privacy.

When writing about a person notable only for one or two events, including every detail can lead to problems, even when the material is well-sourced. In the best case, it can lead to an unencyclopedic article. In the worst case, it can be a serious violation of our policies on neutrality. When in doubt, biographies should be pared back to a version that is completely sourced, neutral, and on-topic.

This is of particularly profound importance when dealing with individuals whose notability stems largely from their being victims of another's actions. Wikipedia editors must not act, intentionally or otherwise, in a way that amounts to participating in or prolonging the victimization.

Privacy of personal information

Wikipedia includes dates of birth for some well-known persons where the dates:

  • have been published in one or more reliable sources linked to the persons such that it may reasonably be inferred that the persons do not object to their release; or
  • have otherwise been widely published.

Caution should be exercised with less notable people. With identity theft on the rise, people increasingly regard their dates of birth as private. When in doubt about the notability of the subject, or if the subject complains about the publication of his or her date of birth, err on the side of caution and simply list the year of birth.

In a similar vein, Wikipedia articles should not include addresses, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, or other contact information for living persons, though links to websites maintained by the subject are generally permitted.

Privacy of names

Consider carefully whether significant value is added to an article by including the names of private, living individuals such as family members of the subject of a biographical article. There is a presumption against using the names of such individuals, even if the names have already appeared in the media, where:

  • they are not in themselves sufficiently notable for a Wikipedia article; for instance, because:
    • they are only named in third-party published sources because they are related to or associated with notable individuals;
    • they are only named in a few third-party published sources;
    • although they are widely named in third-party published sources, such sources only have trivial content on them (e.g., minor accidents, criminal offenses and public outbursts); or
  • they are not directly involved in the article's topic; or
  • they are under the age of 18 years, and thus deserve greater protection from intrusions upon their privacy.

See Wikipedia for more information.

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