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Usage

This tag is for placement after attributions to vague "authorities" such as "serious scholars", "historians say", "some researchers", "many scientists", and the like. For example:

Markup Experts{{Who|{{subst:DATE}}}} agree...
Visual effect Experts[who?] agree...

You may use either one of the following formats:

{{Who|{{subst:DATE}}}}

or

{{Who|date=January 2021}}

Use it when no specific examples of identifiable individuals from that group are named who could be used to verify the statements or beliefs attributed to the group. Preferably, the offending statement should be made more specific by identifying particular individuals and then either cited or tagged for needing citation. Similarly, the statement should be deleted if the claim about the group is sufficiently vague as to be unsupportable.

Use good judgment when deciding whether greater specificity is actually in the best interests of the article. Words like some or most are not banned and can be useful and appropriate.

This tag will categorize tagged articles into Category:Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases. This template is a self-reference and is part of the article maintenance architecture rather than the encyclopedic content.

Unsupported attributions

... some people say, many scholars state, it is believed/regarded, many are of the opinion, most feel, experts declare, it is often reported, it is widely thought, research has shown, science says ...
Weasel words.svg

Weasel words are words and phrases aimed at creating an impression that something specific and meaningful has been said, when in fact only a vague or ambiguous claim has been communicated. A common form of weasel wording is through vague attribution, where a statement is dressed with authority, yet has no substantial basis. Phrases such as those above present the appearance of support for statements but can deny the reader the opportunity to assess the source of the viewpoint. They may disguise a biased view. Claims about what people say, think, feel, or believe, and what has been shown, demonstrated, or proved should be clearly attributed.[1]

However, the examples given above are not automatically weasel words, as they may also be used in the lead section of an article or in a topic sentence of a paragraph, where the article body or the rest of the paragraph supplies attribution. Likewise, views which are properly attributed to a reliable source may use similar expressions if they accurately represent the opinions of the source. Reliable sources may analyze and interpret, but we, as editors, cannot do so ourselves, since that would be original research or would violate the neutral point of view.

Articles including weasel words should ideally be rewritten such that they are supported by sources, or they may be tagged with the {{by whom}} or similar templates so as to identify the problem to future readers (who may elect to fix the issue).

Notes

  1. The templates {{Who}}, {{Which?}}, {{By whom}}, or {{Attribution needed}} are available for editors to request an individual statement be more clearly attributed.


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