Help:Introduction to policies and guidelines/neutrality quiz


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Can you guess which of the following passages comply with Wikipedia's Neutral Point of View policy?



Extensive investigation into vaccines and autism has shown that there is no relationship between the two, causal or otherwise, and that vaccine ingredients do not cause autism.

Answer
Neutral. Wikipedia does not give undue weight to fringe theories not supported by reliable sources, like the idea that vaccines cause autism. This passage is an appropriate summary of the scholarship on the topic.


Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. Most people think that the Earth is spherical, but more and more people are of the opinion that the Earth is actually flat.

Answer
Not neutral. This sentence is true (modern flat Earth beliefs are indeed growing), but this phrasing is highly misleading as it leads the reader to think that there is substantive disagreement about the shape of the Earth. In reality, reliable sources have an overwhelming consensus on the shape of the Earth, to the point where the spherical Earth perspective is treated by Wikipedia as fact, and the flat Earth perspective is considered WP:FRINGE, meaning it generally need not be mentioned.


Michael Phelps (born June 30, 1985) is an American former competitive swimmer and the most decorated Olympian of all time with a total of 28 medals. He has encountered legal trouble on several occasions. At age 19 in November 2004, he was arrested for drunk driving in Salisbury, Maryland. In February 2009, a photograph of Phelps using a bong went viral; this resulted in the loss of the Kellogg Company as a sponsor and a three-month suspension by USA Swimming. In September 2014, he was arrested again, this time on charges of drunk driving and speeding in Baltimore, Maryland.

Answer
Not neutral. An article should not give undue weight to minor aspects of its subject. While Phelps has indeed encountered legal trouble on several occasions, it would be inappropriate to devote such a large portion of the opening paragraph of this article to those occasions.


The New York Yankees are the greatest baseball team in history.

Answer
Not neutral. Calling something the greatest is an example of peacock language, in this case expressing an opinion that can't be supported by reliable sources. You should show instead of telling, using verifiable facts; it would be much better to instead write The New York Yankees have won 26 World Series championships—almost three times as many as any other team.


William Shakespeare is widely considered to be one of the greatest authors in the English language.

Answer
Neutral. This is a proper description of a reputation. Crucially, it is only valid because many reliable sources have actually stated that Shakespeare has this reputation. The phrase widely considered is important – while it is a fact that he is considered one of the greatest, it would be an opinion to directly say that he is one of the greatest.


Cats received negative reviews from critics, who criticized the CGI effects, plot, and tone, with many calling it one of the worst films of 2019.

Answer

Neutral. Wikipedia describes reputations, indicating the relative prominence of different viewpoints. When reputations are bad, Wikipedia should say so, without employing false balance.

For example, Critic A reviewed Cats positively, praising X, while critic B reviewed Cats negatively, criticizing Y is verifiably true, but still not acceptable as it isn't neutral. Writing that would be false balance, as it inaccurately summarizes an overwhelmingly negative critical reception as if it were evenly mixed between positive and negative reviews.


In 2017, Facebook partnered with fact-checkers from the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network to identify and mark false content, though most ads from political candidates are exempt from this program. Critics of the program accused Facebook of not doing enough to remove false information from its website.

Answer
Neutral. This is a good example of how to note that a prominent point of view exists (appropriate) without taking that point of view in Wikipedia's voice (inappropriate). A non-neutral wording might look like this: Facebook is falling short of its duty to fact-check the content on its website, it should do more.


According to Simon Wiesenthal, the Holocaust was a program of extermination of the Jewish people in Germany, but David Irving disputes this analysis.

Answer

Not neutral. This phrasing puts these ideas side-by-side, presenting the Holocaust as a matter of opinion rather than historical fact. This is not neutral because David Irving's position of Holocaust denial is a fringe viewpoint that should not be given equal standing with the consensus among respected historians.

When discussing David Irving, a neutral phrasing might look like this: The Holocaust was a program of extermination of the Jewish people in Germany. David Irving is a Holocaust denier, meaning he holds the false belief that the Holocaust did not occur.


Princess Diana died in a Paris hospital in 1997 after being injured in a tragic car crash.

Answer
Not neutral. Even though her death is almost universally considered tragic, putting in the word tragic like this is still an inappropriate instance of orializing. Instead, use facts to convey the public response, such as Media attention and public mourning were extensive after her death, and an estimated 2.5 billion people watched her televised funeral.


In 1958, Mao Zedong launched the Great Leap Forward that aimed to rapidly transform China's economy from agrarian to industrial. However, his cruel disregard for the lives of his citizens led to the deadliest famine in history and the deaths of 20–46 million people between 1958 and 1962.

Answer
Not neutral. The information here is fine, but the characterization of Mao is not. cruel disregard for the lives of his citizens is an opinion and should not be stated as fact.


Donald Trump made many false or misleading statements during his campaign and presidency, to a degree unprecedented in American politics. Many of his comments and actions have been characterized as racially charged or racist.

Answer
Neutral. Wikipedia's content should reflect that of reliable sources, even when it differs from a view held by a large portion of the general public.