Talk:Liberia

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Sources and POV statements[change source]

There have been a couple attempts to remove large parts of the article claiming POV and source reliability issues. This should be discussed so we can reach a consensus before an edit war develops. DoSazunielle (talk) 17:25, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Hi, from what I can see so far, source 2 does not seem reliable. Belwine β€’ πŸ’¬ β€’ πŸ“œ 17:26, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
An edit war had already occurred when you reverted, it's just not exceeding 3RR. It will be useful for you to say why you think the source is reliable in the first place? Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 17:27, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
The second source is a Liberian newspaper which has been published since 1996. Aren't newspapers generally considered reliable? DoSazunielle (talk) 17:30, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Yes, they are considered reliable (I believe?). Belwine β€’ πŸ’¬ β€’ πŸ“œ 17:34, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
The issue isn't whether it's reliable I think, based on mac, they say is POV. I will add that this is en:WP:UNDUE, with such a tiny article in the lede, adding slavery related content is undue weight. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 17:36, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
And compare our article with enwp, there is a marked difference in how the way the history is portrayed, they portray it in a neutral tone, here your edition isn't neutral (i.e. the motive of the founders etc). It's POV. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 17:38, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
The motives of the founders of Liberia are discussed in the sources cited. You should also refer to the enwp for the colonization movement (particularly the American Colonization Society) in the United States, which was a direct response to slavery in the United States. The country was founded directly in response to the system of slavery as any historian of the subject (such as the author of the newspaper article) can tell you. If there are statements that are not "neutral" please point to them specifically and they can be modified without removing the sources (it should be noted that before these sources were added the article had no sources at all). DoSazunielle (talk) 17:51, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Some newspapers are reliable and some are not. It just depends. Enwiki has this list of some sources. --IWI (talk) 18:01, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
I mean, if it's an article as long as enwp, a paragraph of that history might be okay, but for this length, this is making the article undue (as pointed out earlier) and POV as there is over emphasis on this particular point. @DoSazunielle: Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:14, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Then the proper approach should be to add additional material on other points, not to remove the only sourced (and entirely historically accurate) material in the article. DoSazunielle (talk) 18:21, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Why not I propose a compromise: Trim down to 1 line, add it. Or else it's really excessive. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:23, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
There is currently one (1) sentence directly discussing slavery in the article, supported by a source. (This is a different sentence than the source which was questioned above, by the way.) I do not believe this is "really excessive" for reasons already stated above and see no reason a "compromise" is necessary when additional material can simply be added and there is no requirement that simple wiki pages be short. I'm also questioning your general hostility to any of my edits relating to the subject of slavery as you've taken this approach specifically towards me in the past. DoSazunielle (talk) 18:30, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Hey, now the entire article is about slavery already....that's excessive IMO. Note I am here trying to mediate in this, and I did not revert any of your changes. If you deemed it not helpful, fine, ignore my comments, and try to convince Mac that your additions aren't POV laden. I am trying to find a middle ground, hope you understand. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:33, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

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There is a lot more to the history of Liberia than slavery, and I too feel it is undue to talk about this in the lead section for so much of the article. In addition, the source given does not seem particularly reliable to me, although I can’t say I am familiar with it. --IWI (talk) 18:41, 10 January 2021 (UTC)

Camouflaged Mirage stated "now the entire article is about slavery already" immediately after I stated that 1 sentence of the article is about slavery. Anyone can go see for themselves how inaccurate this statement is. IWI, as previously stated: 1) The country was founded directly in response to the system of slavery as any historian of Liberia or the colonization movement can tell you. 2) If people still feel that one (1) sentence about slavery is "undue", they can add additional material on other aspects of the history. It should be noted that one of the sources people attempted to remove described some of this history in detail. DoSazunielle (talk) 18:50, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
You clearly have a strong opinion on this matter, and generally I would advise you avoid editing such subjects as you will end up edit warring as you have today. --IWI (talk) 18:52, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
And it’s not just slavery, also the part that says why the country was founded is undue. --IWI (talk) 18:54, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
+1. If you had read through history in depth for Libera, you might need to take extra caution of Wikipedia:Conflict of interest, it's best to edit subjects that we are not that attached to, don't have so much POV about that issues. Note: I am just here to try to comment this edit warring situation, I have no interest to whitewash anything. This doesn't mean we can't write about issues we are familiar with, but if we can't write in a fair balanced manner, we shouldn't. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:55, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
I have no conflict of interest. Otherwise, what both of you have said in your replies has already been addressed above. DoSazunielle (talk) 19:02, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
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I have rewritten part of the article, which should be more neutral in tone now. Ideally, civil wars links to the actual civil wars there. First one 1989-1997, Second one 1999-2003. --Eptalon (talk) 19:48, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
Why was the source which described the reasons for colonization removed? Furthermore, what was "non-neutral" about the prior content? DoSazunielle (talk) 20:51, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
PLease re-add them if you feel like it. I just felt like spending half an hour cleaning up (also mentioning neignboring states, size). I think the most controversial statement I removed was that this American society who bought the land didn't want freed African slaves in the US. --Eptalon (talk) 21:02, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
The statement you're referring to is directly supported by the source you removed, so I will re-add the statement and the source. It is good that you added some additional information. But that can be done without removing true, sourced statements. DoSazunielle (talk) 21:28, 10 January 2021 (UTC)
I don't think the claim that the American Colonization Society wanted to remove free Blacks from the U.S. is really controversial. Just a random find from David W. Blight, en:Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, p. 145 (paperback edition) in the context of a free black Civil War soldier claiming his right to citizenship: "[The soldier] reacted with scorn at suggestions by the American Colonization Society that blacks emigrate to Liberia." --Rsk6400 (talk) 07:39, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
The issue is that this is still UNDUE...and can we have another source to back " Many of the black people who were sent to Liberia were missionaries, and they were very cruel" --> As the source is just a personal essay. After @Rsk6400 addition, the slavery issue become very the focus on this general essay on Libera, which made @Eptalon changes to ensure more neutral a little wasted. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 12:47, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I also note @Rsk6400 removed a large chunk of text with "Removed European discovery - not important enough for Liberian history to be included in such a short article" --> Why isn't discovery of a nation important? This is the essay for the nation, and a nation discovery and founding isn't important (and the dates of Portugal first discovery). If American cause slaves to be there is important, isn't the Portugal first discovery also important. This is trying to just portray one side of the picture but not the full history which isn't neutral at all.... Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 12:51, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
My advice to all users here is to refrain from making any more changes to the page in relation to this issue until it is resolved. This is the most constructive way to resolve a dispute. --IWI (talk) 12:57, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@ImprovedWikiImprovment I agree. That's why I made 0 edits to the article except tagging NPOV which is to bring readers to this discussion only. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 13:11, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Of course. My comment was a general one and not aimed at anyone specifically. --IWI (talk) 17:03, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Proposal[change source]

Hello all, I propope you look at Cape Verde. Sectioning as follows:

  • Intro/Lede: Official name, location, size, neighboring countries, capital
  • Infobox
  • Perhaps demographics/geography/climate: biggest cities, important rivers, biospheres
  • Short history section.

As always: controversial statements need to be backed by sources. Yes, I have read that missionaries were sent to Liberia, but I haven't read that they were especially cruel. At that time, missionary work often meant running schools. IMO another very important point are the two civil wars (1989 to 2003), I think. Many of the people involved are wanted/have been accused with war crimes. Child soldiers were in use (by all of the 3-4 big groups), the troops were very cruel towards civilians. I know all of this doesn't belong in this article, but in an article on the civil war (which I started an linked). I don't have a vested interest in Liberia,its civil wars or their proponents. What I want in the end though, is an article that is informative, neutral in tone, and that covers all sides of the story. --Eptalon (talk) 13:23, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

I agree, I don't think cruel is a neutral term to describe the missionaries, we need to have more multiple reliable sources to verify them. What I mean is that we do not want the entire article to be about slavery, cruel people etc, what I want to see is an article that is more balanced and etc. This is not an article named "Slavery in Libera" but "Libera", if we focus too much on slavery but not other important details like date of founding, cities, population, demographics etc, we are running foul of en:WP:UNDUE which I had said times and times again. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 13:30, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Regarding the "cruel" missionaries, I agree with both of you: That's POV. But I don't agree that mentioning slavery is UNDUE. The very name "Liberia" was chosen because it was a country established for (not "by") freed slaves, the coat of arms shows "The love of liberty ..." plus one of the ships in which the freedpeople came to Liberia. Today's Republic of Liberia developed out of a foundation by the American Colonization Society. And that society was founded with the explicit aim to move black Americans to Africa. Some members of the society just wanted to remove free Blacks from the U.S., others wanted to facilitate emancipation by easing the fears a great part of the US public had when thinking of free Blacks in their midst. So the issue of U.S. freedpeople is at the very core of Liberia's foundation. Please note that the article doesn't mention "slavery in Liberia". Still I think, mentioning the American Civil War is not necessary, that might be shortened to "By 1860, about 12.000 freed slaves ...". --Rsk6400 (talk) 17:09, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I meant UNDUE is the respective length of the article vs the slavery part, should we have a long article like enwp, feel free to include. This is giving too much emphasis on something on a general topic, if it is like an article named "history of libera" or "slavery in libera" it's okay. Hope you understand, inclusion isn't wrong, but the excessive weight and text vis-a-vis the entire amount of text is why I call it UNDUE. @Rsk6400 Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 17:32, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Only one sentence (They didn't want black people who ...) mentions slaves. Admittedly it is a long one (16 words). A total of three sentences cover the founding of Liberia. I don't think that's too much, but if you have any idea how to cover the founding in a shorter way, I won't object. --Rsk6400 (talk) 17:56, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Rsk6400 I mean the entire ratio of stuff, if you could well expand on the other aspects, feel free to keep it at this length. The 1st para / 2nd para in history is way too much vs the entire article...both are talking about slavery, cruel masters, can we abridge into one para? Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:03, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Eptalon: I think the creation of the "history" section and of the separate article on the civil wars are real improvements - thank you. And, Camouflaged Mirage, I agree that cities, population, demographics, also economy are missing. --Rsk6400 (talk) 17:21, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Next big thing: Article needs to be extended: Demograhpys/Geography/Climate (started as "Geography"), needs to be about a third of the article. "History" needs to be adjusted so it is about a third, the last third should be general info at the top. If a section is much bigger than this third, it goes to a new article ("Geography of L.","History of L."), and is replaced with a stub. Anything controversial needs a reference.
Created History of Liberia. Still needs linking from this article though.β€” Preceding unsigned comment added by Eptalon (talk β€’ contribs)
@Eptalon: I did more touch up on that history, done the linking, see is it OK?. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:36, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Rsk6400 Hope this solution is OK, this is the best I can do and hope you understand... Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:38, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Camouflaged Mirage, Eptalon: Thanks to you and everybody. Discussions where everybody tries to understand everybody else and which result in a considerable improvement really make me happy. Happy editing. :-) Rsk6400 (talk) 19:04, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
@Rsk6400 Me too :) Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 19:08, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
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Yes, we have a much cleanerarticle now. And details can go to the annex articles just created.--Eptalon (talk) 19:08, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Discovery by Portuguese[change source]

@Camouflaged Mirage: I start a new section because I think that's a different issue. The Portuguese didn't discover the "nation", but the coast. I also wonder whether "discover" is the right word, because the inhabitants of the country had already discovered that land long before. Unlike the European colonies in the Americas, Liberia's founding event was not the "discovery" by Europeans, but the activities of the American Colonization Society. --Rsk6400 (talk) 17:17, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

@Rsk6400 Well it can be included as like "there are portuguese explorers landed on the coast of Libera" or sort, what I meant is that by adding more of other things, the UNDUE problem of the slavery can be gone by the fact that now the entire article is not about slavery/cruel missionaries only. Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 17:34, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
 (change conflict) The Americas wasn't a discovery either, per se. Native Americans had lived there for thousands of years and the Vikings may have landed there more recently. Really "discovery" is a POV term if native people were already living there. --IWI (talk) 17:36, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
Anyone interested in that should read (or listen to) "War of the Worlds", by Orson Welles. It is a good read/listen.--Eptalon (talk) 18:01, 11 January 2021 (UTC)
I am keen to include this to balance out the slavery part, to make it less UNDUE. Ideas? Camouflaged Mirage (talk) 18:04, 11 January 2021 (UTC)