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Why are the background of some pages white and some pages have other background colors?

Encyclopedia article pages have white backgrounds, while 'special' pages, talk pages, user pages, and about-wikipedia pages have colored backgrounds. This is intended as a visual cue that you're not in the encyclopedia per se.

How do I report that something isn't working properly?

If you think it's a bug in the software (for example, if it happens in two different web browsers), please send a bug report to

Is it possible for a vandal to delete all SourceWatch pages?

Not really. You need to be an administrator to permanently and totally delete pages. Any other users could remove the text of a page, but any other user could restore the text from the history archive. If someone did an extensive attack, they could be blocked from further editing by the admins. Moreover, we are keeping backups of the server itself.

Is allowing everyone to edit pages safe? What if someone contributes or writes something that might be defamatory?

Contributors should refer to SourceWatch:Policy and SourceWatch:Ground rules for guidelines on what is acceptable content to add to SourceWatch. If you see content that does not meet those standards, see Help:How to fix or report an error for solutions. Under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the person who posts content on the wiki, rather than the Center for Media and Democracy, is generally liable for their additions. The Electronic Freedom Foundation has a good "Overview of Legal Liability Issues" that may help guide your contributions.

What is the best way to link into SourceWatch from another site?

To link to the front page, the prefered URL is

Is there a place where people ask for new entries?

On the SourceWatch:Requested articles page you can ask for a specific article to be created. The Most Wanted page lists nonexistent articles that other articles have link to.

Is there any peer review process to validate the data that is displayed?

We are all peers here, and we review each other's work.

How is SourceWatch backed up? Is it possible that an accident could destroy all this data?

We routinely back up all SourceWatch pages, and we back up our back-up.

Is it okay to copy a SourceWatch article into Wikipedia, or vice versa?

We don't have any objections to this from the SourceWatch end. If copying articles from Wikipedia into SourceWatch, please add a {{wikipedia}} template tag to the bottom of the SourceWatch version. This adds an attribution credit and a link back to the Wikipedia article. When copying articles from SourceWatch into Wikipedia, it is possible that Wikipedia editors may object, depending on the nature of the article that you want to add. Wikipedia's editorial policies are different than SourceWatch:

  • Wikipedia has a "neutral point of view" (NPOV) policy that says articles should be written from a neutral point of view. In contrast, the SourceWatch policy favors articles that are fair, accurate, and referenced.
  • Wikipedia also has a "notability" policy that says an article should be on a topic that has "received significant coverage in reliable sources that are independent of the subject."
  • Wikipedia also has a policy on "biographies of living persons."
  • It also has a "spam" policy that discourages people from adding external links to their own websites.

If you try adding a SourceWatch article to Wikipedia and someone objects, you can certainly argue your case for its inclusion on the article's Wikipedia talk page. Of course, we recommend being polite about the matter.

Can I mirror entire sections of SourceWatch to my site (perhaps edited a bit)? Or, how much can I quote?

You may mirror or quote as much as you wish, as long as you maintain the text under the GNU Free Documentation License. Don't do this if you're writing a paper for school, though!

If I link a word from my site to SourceWatch, am I required to use the GNU FDL for my site? What if I use a small quote (3-4 sentences)? What if I quote entire articles?

The answer to the first two is "no", since it is covered by the fair use doctrine. For the third, check with your lawyer.

How do I cite a SourceWatch article in a paper?

Cite it as you would any other web page, including the full URL to the article, in accordance with the normal citation practice the publication you are submitting the paper to follows. It would be a good idea to also include the date of the article revision you are quoting (for the current revision this is shown at the bottom of the page: "The page was last modified ..."), and possibly the date you viewed it on. Citing the individual authors from the article's history page is not necessary.