Forum:How to get the tone right
Hi all. I'm starting this discussion after an email came to the Fandom support desk with concerns about how villains are depicted here. Specifically, he felt that some pages depict their subjects in a positive and glorified way.
I know that's not the intention of the wiki, and that you are aiming for a neutral report of those you write about, but I think it's an important thing to consider.
An example is of the school shooter Adam Lanza. Giving mass shooters "publicity" is generally controversial in itself. There is concern that making a killer "famous" might encourage others to commit the same sort of crimes. So I would say that pages like these are especially sensitive.
Wikipedia documents shootings by having articles about the event, rather than about the person (albeit with full encyclopedia information about them within the article). I know that wouldn't work here, but I think there could be changes to improve the articles.
Two areas of concern are the trivia section, and the number of photos on the page - especially those that might be seen as glamorising guns. "Trivia" is a very odd word to use imo, it makes it feels like the perpetrator (and so the crime) are trivial or even "fun"! I understand that you want a place to add facts known about the killer, but maybe it should be renamed to something like "facts"?
The images are another issue. They come back to glamorising the perpetrator and increasing his perceived fame. I would recommend having just one or two representative photos, and those more in the style of mug shots rather than ones posing with guns.
- Trivia is simply the standard name practice for extra facts on all wikis, and pictures "glorify" it as much as a documentary about the subject would. Anyone who thinks this wiki is remotely potraying them positively hasn't seen what what they have on the RL heroes version...
- Other encyclopedias with real life villains have "trivia" as the extra facts section. Saying trivia doesn't glorify them in the slightest. Also, pictures don't do that as well
- Not all do, the big example is Wikipedia, where trivia sections are considered non-encyclopedic. In the case of trivia, it's about fame and trivializing the villain. if every tiny fact about them is seen as important, then they must be famous.
- The same is the problem with images. I can see that one or two are needed for the article, but having many of them increases the impression of fame. And that's an impression that may be dangerous in terms of copycats.
- One other thing that I think is dangerous: "Adam holds second place for killing the most people in a school behind Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech shooter." - which makes it sound like a competition!
- You have a good and popular wiki here, but with such a difficult topic, it's important to be very careful of the impact of your articles -- Sannse <staff /> (help forum | blog) 18:41, November 4, 2019 (UTC)